Tag Archive: Mathematics

Why Pi Matters







” Every March 14th, mathematicians like me are prodded out of our burrows like Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day, blinking and bewildered by all the fuss. Yes, it’s Pi Day again. And not just any Pi Day. They’re calling this the Pi Day of the century: 3.14.15. Pi to five digits. A once-in-a-lifetime thing.

  I’m dreading it. No hope of solving any equations that day, what with the pie-eating contests, the bickering over the merits of pi versus tau (pi times two), and the throwdowns over who can recite more digits of pi. Just stay off the streets at 9:26:53, when the time will approximate pi to ten places: 3.141592653. “





” Pi does deserve a celebration, but for reasons that are rarely mentioned. In high school, we all learned that pi is about circles. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference (the distance around the circle, represented by the letter C) to its diameter (the distance across the circle at its widest point, represented by the letter d). That ratio, which is about 3.14, also appears in the formula for the area inside the circle, A = πr2, where π is the Greek letter “pi” and r is the circle’s radius (the distance from center to rim). We memorized these and similar formulas for the S.A.T.s and then never again used them, unless we happened to go into a technical field, or until our own kids took geometry.”


Read more at the New Yorker














Philadelphia Teen Suffers Ruptured Testicle And Hit With Misdemeanors During Police Patdown




Published on Jan 18, 2014

” A straight-A student suffered a ruptured testicle during a patdown by Philadelphia police and was then charged with resisting arrest.

  Darrin Manning told The Philadelphia Inquirer he got off the subway Jan. 7 on his way to play in a high school basketball game with a dozen teammates wearing their team uniforms and hats, gloves and scarves given to them by a teacher.

  Police claim the boys were wearing ski masks, but the teens said they had covered their faces with scarves because it was cold outside.

  The 16-year-old student at Mathematics, Civics & Sciences Charter School said one of his teammates may have smarted off to an officer staring them down, and he said the boys ran when the police officer approached them.

  Manning admits that he ran at first out of fear, but then he stopped.

” I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.

  Police records show that Manning, who is black, fought with Officer Thomas Purcell, who is white, after he stopped running, striking the officer three times and ripping off his police radio.

  Manning said he was roughed up, struck with handcuffs and then placed in those handcuffs, and the teen said a female officer pulled his genitals so hard during a patdown that one of his testicles ruptured.

” She patted me down and then she touched my butt and then my private parts, and then she grabbed and squeezed and pulled my private parts and I felt something pop,” Manning said.

  Police said the teen didn’t complain of any pain while in custody, and authorities charged him with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.

  He underwent emergency surgery the following day, and his mother told The Philadelphia Inquirer that doctors told her he may never be able to father children.

  Manning used a wheelchair at school a few days after the incident.

  His mother, Ikea Coney, said witnesses backed her son’s account of what happened during the arrest, and one of those witnesses told the newspaper that she thought the police actions appeared to be excessive.

” I blame myself,” Coney said. “I taught my son to respect cops, not to fear them. Maybe if he was afraid, he would have run like the other boys and he would have been OK.”

  Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said the boy and his family have not filed a formal complaint or spoken to police.”









Facebook Boss Mark Zuckerberg Launches New Immigration Lobby Group



” The billionaire founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has launched a new initiative to push for immigration reform, describing America’s current system as “unfit for today’s world.”

The group, called FWD.us, (pronounced Forward US), is backed by other Silicon Valley leaders including Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer and Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of Linkedin.

“We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world,” Zuckerberg wrote in an editorial for The Washington Post to launch the lobby group.


Zuckerberg said FWD.us would push for:

● Comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born.

● Higher standards and accountability in schools, support for good teachers and a much greater focus on learning about science, technology, engineering and math.

Investment in breakthrough discoveries in scientific research and assurance that the benefits of the inventions belong to the public and not just to the few.

This year demand for skilled-worker visas, known as H-1Bs, outstripped the entire year’s supply in the first week that companies were allowed to file applications.”