First 200 Million Digits of Pi
Pi goes on forever in random numbers never repeating itself. It is both an irrational and transcendental number. Pi has been computed to over one trillion digits and counting. If you and your students have access to the internet, a really fun website called Pi Searcher -- www.angio.net/pi/bigpi.cgi -- enables you to quickly search any sequence of numbers (phone numbers, birthdays, your street address, Zip Code etc.) among the first 200 million digits of pi to right of the decimal.
Here is a chance to play with the first 200 million digits of pi and realize the awesome power of a number that goes on theoretically forever without repeating itself. (1) Have students search their birthdays' six digit numeric expression (MMDDYR). Find out whose birthday in the class is earliest in pi, whose is latest to first appear among the first 200 million digits of pi. (Note that there is a very small chance that a six digit string will not appear in the first 200 million digits of pi so keep a consolation prize handy..) (2) Students can express their initials or name numerically by the letters’ place in the alphabet, and then search the numeric string in pi. For example, using Albert Einstein's first initials "A" and "E" gives the sequence 1, 5:
A = 1 (first letter in the alphabet)
E = 5 (fifth letter in the alphabet)
The sequence 1, 5 occurs at position 3 of pi to the right of the decimal. (Note: many mathematicians love to point out that Albert Einstein was born on March 14, which can be numerically expressed as 3.14 which equals pi!)