News

# Maths day all adds up to Pi - like Grandma used to make it

PIES to celebrate Pi Day. That's what's on the menu for mathematics students at St John's College Woodlawn.

It may seem like an obscure topic, but the Pi Day celebration is steadily multiplying and gaining momentum around the world as an international day to recognise the importance of mathematics.

St John's College Woodlawn mathematics co-ordinator Brad Ryall said Pi Day was a good opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the importance of mathematics in developing students' problem-solving abilities.

"It gives them a set of skills they can solve problems with, and problem solving is the thing that employers and society wants, rather than people who can regurgitate or recite information," he said.

"That used to be the case sort of 20 years ago - if you remembered it you knew it - but now we can find it so easily because all the information's at our fingertips."

Mr Ryall said the focus of teaching had shifted from content learning to problem-solving skills.

Something like 60% of the jobs these kids are going to do haven't even been invented yet, so it's very hard to give them the skills they need for the jobs because we don't even know what jobs they need

"Something like 60% of the jobs these kids are going to do haven't even been invented yet, so it's very hard to give them the skills they need for the jobs because we don't even know what jobs they need," he said.

Aydin Neighbour is the youngest student in Mr Ryall's accelerated maths class and said the subject was important because every job required some mathematics.

Kelly Gibney, 14, took out the class Pi prize with his recital from memory of pi's first 50 decimal place figures.

For those whose school maths is a little rusty, pi is the mathematical constant (3.1415...) used to find the area and circumference of a circle.

Seven things you didn't know about pi

1. Pi Day is held on March 14 because the date 3/14 is the first three digits of pi.
2. Pi is the most recognized mathematical constant in the world.
3. In the Star Trek episode Wolf in the Fold, Spock foils the evil computer by commanding it to "compute to last digit the value of pi".
4. The symbol for pi has been used regularly for the past 250 years.
5. We can never truly measure the circumference or the area of a circle because we can never truly know the value of pi.
6. In 2002, a Japanese scientist found 1.24 trillion digits of pi using a powerful computer called the Hitachi SR 8000, breaking all previous records
7. One of the earliest known records of pi was written by an Egyptian scribe named Ahmes (c1650 BC) on what is now known as the Rhind Papyrus. He was off by less than 1% of the modern approximation of pi.

Topics:  mathematics

### Parents warned off high profile anti-vax campaigner

David Wolf 'may influence vulnerable parents already hesitating'

### Northern Rivers gig guide

What's on this week in local entertainment

### Security tightened at court house

Glass enclosed docks to minimise escapes and improve safety

## Local Partners

Community

### New Bishop to lead church through dark times: Archbishop

"At this time the Catholic community ... hang our heads in shame in apology, in determination to ensure such failures do not happen ever again."

### People power harnessed to fight litter bugs

Social media campaign to keep beaches, bushland beautiful

### Northern Rivers gig guide

What's on this week in local entertainment

### Top 10 things to do this weekend

Are you looking to get out and about over the next two days?

### Teeing off to support Jodie's Inspiration

Vie for the top of the leaderboard, if you dare

Entertainment

### Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

GET a sneak peek at Green Day's American Idiot The Musical as we go behind the scenes to meet the stars at a QPAC rehearsal.

### Northern Rivers gig guide

What's on this week in local entertainment

### Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

### Have a swell time at the Byron Bay Surf Festival

Paddle out for a day of fun

### Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

### Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

### Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

### \$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

### Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in \$100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

### Why this \$1m Maroochy unit is twice as good as the rest

"Double unit” for sale

### Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

### Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?