Archive for the ‘Featured Pi(e)’ Category

Pi Day Sudoku Is Back!

March 9, 2010

You laughed in 2008.

You cried in 2009.

This March, from the producers of Naked Sudoku*, comes…

Pi Day Sudoku 2010


As in past years, there is also a contest** associated with the puzzle, but who needs a contest when you’ve got a puzzle with the (conjectured) minimum number of clues (18 – in this puzzle, the first 18 digits of π) for a unique solution of a rotationally symmetric puzzle?  Here’s a printable PDF so you can take the puzzle with you to your next meeting lunch break.

Happy solving!

*Brainfreeze Puzzles, in case you were wondering.
**Also as in past years, we will not allow a solution to be posted until after the June 1 deadline.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Happy Pi Day!

March 14, 2009


Happy Pi Day!

July 22, 2008

Happy Pi Day!!!

22 July is celebrated throughout (much of) the world as Pi Day, for the ratio 22/7 is a reasonably accurate rational approximation to the number π.

Pi Day is also celebrated on March 14, in those parts of the world who would abbreviate today’s date ( July 22, 2008 ) as 7/22/2008, since March 14 becomes 3/14 under such a scheme. According to Wikipedia (“So you know it’s true!”™), only a handful of countries follow this scheme. Most would abbreviate using either a little-endian scheme ( 22/7/2008 ) or a big-endian scheme ( 2008/7/22 ). The amount of space on Wikipedia devoted to a flamewar discussion about the relative merits of each scheme is astounding.

There are many days when I’m happy to be a mathematician, and not a copy editor for an international open content network based encyclopedia.

Musical Pi, Part 3

March 26, 2008

Finally, the last four tracks in the suite of π-based music, composed by Jon Turner. (See also part 1 and part 2.)

8. Quest 4 Pi 2
MM=288 175mm 2:26
The first part is the same as 1; after the central cadence on C, the harmony no longer changes, and this forms a coda. The guitar continues to shred the rhythm over the final C7sus harmony.
9. Circle of the Great Spirit 2
MM=72 94mm 4/4 5:13
19 digits of π, theme of 1, in 4/4 with variations:
Introduction: 457/0.
Theme: 31848/9 0/5 949/1 3B/6 9186/2 64/1 -4/0 5/0 7/0.
Variation 1: each duration is divided into two half-length durations.
(Variation 2: is track 1 above, CGS1, in triple meter, 3/4.)
Variation 3: durations are divided into 4, creating a rhythmic crescendo typical of classical variations.
Theme: closing anthem.
Coda: 457/0 eight times.

Bonus track(s):

10. Arc Tango X
MM=170 784mm 4/4 18:06
Same as 2, but continues way beyond 160 to 768.
Long jam already, in flux, could go way beyond…
11. Quest 4 Pi complete
MM=288 341mm 4:44
Finished on FZ birthday 07!
1 and 2 continuous.

Musical Pi, Part 2

March 19, 2008

Following up (at long last) on Musical Pi, Part 1, we present the remaining nine pieces (plus bonus tracks!) in the suite of music based on π, composed by Jon Turner, professor of musical composition at Nazareth. (see also part 1 and part 3) Click for the next 7 pieces.

Happy Pi Day!

March 14, 2008

From Dinosaur Comics last year. (Click for a legible version.)


Lemon Pie Recipe

March 13, 2008

lemon-pie-recipe.jpgYes, it’s March 13 and the countdown to Pi Day has begun! While people gather round and sing Pi Day Songs, you can make Aunt Mattie’s Lemon Pie. Aunt Mattie worked for my grandmother’s family, and was known for her pies: chocolate, butterscotch, and lemon. My grandmother once carefully measured and wrote down the ingredients that Aunt Mattie used, giving the recipe shown here. (Hmmm. It looks like this card could well be that original recipe. I am, perhaps, the messiest cook I know.) Click here to see Godzilla demonstrate how to cook a lemon pie.

Pi Day Sudoku

March 12, 2008

In honor of Pi Day, Brainfreeze Puzzles (“we turn coffee into puzzles”) created a Pi Day Sudoku on a 12×12 grid.


The rules are a little different from standard Sudoku, in part because the blocks are jigsaw pieces rather than 3×3, and in part because the first 12 digits of π are used instead of the standard 1-9. Each row, each column, and each colored block (“jigsaw region”) contains the first 12 digits of pi

3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5 3 5 8

in some order. In particular, there are two 1s, one 2, two 3s, one 4, three 5s, one 6, no 7s one 8, and one 9.

As a bonus, on Brainfreeze’s Pi Day site there are instructions for how to (possibly) win an autographed book by completing the puzzle. Woo hoo!
The contest is over: you can find the solution here.

Musical Pi, Part 1

January 27, 2008

Jon Turner, a professor of musical composition here at Nazareth, has composed a suite of music based on π! (see also part 2 and part 3) As he says:

The basic idea is to use the decimal expansion of pi to give an unendingly varying [but] related series of notes.

The first step was to convert π to base 12 (to match the chromatic musical scale), so

\pi = 3.1415926535\ldots_{10} = 3.184809493B\ldots_{12}

(where B represents decimal 11 in base 12). Starting with C at 0, he gets

\pi = E\flat D\flat A\flat E A\flat C\ldots

Hear the result!

French Silk Pie

January 3, 2008

french-silk-pie.jpgThis pie recipe comes from Terri, one of my grad school roommates, and I like to make it because I think of her and I smile. Of course, I also like to make it because it’s a delicious, scrumptious chocolate pie. And it’s easy to make, which is especially good if you’ve invited 20 students over for a pre-Putnam dinner and somehow got it into your mind to make 6 pies. So without further ado….

Click here for the recipe.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice-cream Pie

November 30, 2007

ice-cream-pie.jpgIn preparation for the dozen or so students who are coming over for dinner tonight in honor of Saturday’s Putnam exam, I made the pie pictured here. I made a bunch of pies, actually, because pie is really good. And then I thought “Pie is a mathy kind of dessert. We need a pie category on our Blog!” The premier recipe is this Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice-Cream Pie by Heather Eckman. Click here for the recipe