March 14th is National Pi Day, the perfect day to celebrate mathematics!Â Pi is a never ending irrational and transcendental number which has been fascinating people for thousands of years.Â 3.14 is just the start, and after that the number goes on forever. If you want to learn more about pi, including its meaning and history, here are some books worth checking out, both for kids and adults.
Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander â€“ and Wayne Geehan â€“ A clever story about a boy who must use math to save his father from a fierce dragon.Â The story is amusing and really holds kidâ€™s interest, and this is part of a series of books about Sir Cumference and his math adventures.
Piece of Pi: Wit-Sharpening, Brain-bruising, Number-Crunching Activities with Pi by Naila Bokhari â€“ This book has lots of fun activities using pi, like learning about how to estimate it, and relating it to the alphabet. This book is perfect for students in middle school and up.
Why Pi? By Johnny Ball â€“ Introduces lots of mathematical concepts (including pi) and includes the history of the mathematics.Â Easy to understand and great for kids as young as 7.
Pi: A Biography of the World’s Most Mysterious Number by Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann â€“ This book tracks the history of pi from pre-historic times until the present day.Â It is well written and it is quite accessible to all readers.
The Joy of Pi by David Blatner â€“ This book is a classic, and includes lots of anecdotes about pi and its history.Â This book has a light hearted tone, and includes a bunch of quirky facts about pi.Â It is a pretty quick read and not overly technical.
Not A Wake: A dream embodying (pi)’s digits fully for 10000 decimals by Michael Keith â€“ This book is a unique collection of poetry, stories, puzzles and lots of other literary forms.Â It is designed so each story or poem is constructed by using words in which the number of letters follows the sequence of pi. This is very strange concept for a book, and I think most people will either love it or hate it!
The Irrationals: A Story of the Numbers You Canâ€™t Count On by Julian Havil â€“ This is a book about all irrational numbers, not just pi.Â It includes a number of proofs, so it probably doesnâ€™t have as much mass appeal as some of the books above, but it is fascinating.
Donâ€™t forget to eat some pie on the 14th and have a Happy 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939… Day!