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April 5, 2006   |   Math FactID: 547
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Rated 3.76 stars
from 55 votes
Gaurav Rajav, a 15-year old Virginia high school student, recited 8,784 digits of Pi the non-repeating and non-terminating decimal likely placing him among the top Pi-reciters in the world.

He had hoped to recite 10,790 digits and set a record in the United States and North America. He says, "I'm kind of disappointed, but I guess I did OK."


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Permanent linkLink | Share via emailEmail Fact | Share via AIMIM Fact | Source: USA Today article via Lynn Lowry


February 22, 2006   |   Math FactID: 13
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Rated 4.08 stars
from 50 votes
In a room full of 23 people, there is a 50% chance that two people have the same birthday. Strange.


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Permanent linkLink | Share via emailEmail Fact | Share via AIMIM Fact | Source: Wolfram Research


January 16, 2006   |   Math FactID: 168
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Rated 3.64 stars
from 42 votes
Around 825 A.D. in Baghdad, Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizimi wrote a book called "Kitab al-jabr wa al-muqabalah", which means "The science of restoration and reduction" and stood as the major algebraic work of the period.

The word "algebra" comes from this title ("al-jabr"), since this was the first textbook used in Europe for this subject.

The word "algorithm" is a distortion of al-Khwarizmi's name.


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Permanent linkLink | Share via emailEmail Fact | Share via AIMIM Fact | Source: "The Golden Ratio" by Mario Livio


January 6, 2006   |   Math FactID: 517
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Rated 4.37 stars
from 38 votes
The = sign ("equals sign") was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing "is equal to" in his equations. He chose the two lines because "noe 2 thynges can be moare equalle".


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Permanent linkLink | Share via emailEmail Fact | Share via AIMIM Fact | Source: BBC via Aaron Fulkerson




March 1, 2005   |   Math FactID: 256
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Rated 4.03 stars
from 38 votes
   111,111,111
x 111,111,111
--------------------------
12,345,678,987,654,321

It's a palindrome, just like "Damn, I, Agassi, miss again! Mad!" is.


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Permanent linkLink | Share via emailEmail Fact | Share via AIMIM Fact | Source: Palindromelist.com


February 19, 2005   |   Math FactID: 243
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Rated 3.38 stars
from 26 votes
What's a Google?

"Googol" is the mathematical term for a 1 followed by a hundred zero's. The term was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, and was popularized in the book, "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Kasner and James Newman. Google's play on the term reflects the company's mission to organize the immense amount of information available on the web


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Permanent linkLink | Share via emailEmail Fact | Share via AIMIM Fact | Source: Wikipedia via Udayan Seksaria


December 1, 2004   |   Math FactID: 140
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Rated 4.14 stars
from 28 votes
Gert Mittring, a 38-year-old German with degrees in psychology, education and computer science, needed only 11.8 seconds to calculate the 13th root of a 100-digit number in his head, setting a new record.


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Permanent linkLink | Share via emailEmail Fact | Share via AIMIM Fact | Source: Associated Press, Quinn McCleery


April 28, 2004   |   Math FactID: 26
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Rated 4.39 stars
from 28 votes

Hiroyuki Goto is the current world record holder for the most digits of Pi (3.14...) memorized.

He spent nine hours and recited 42,000+ digits correctly in 1995.




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April 19, 2004   |   Math FactID: 17
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Rated 4.42 stars
from 19 votes

Pi (value of 3.14...) is graphically derived as follows:
(1) Draw a Circle.
(2) Measure the length around the circle.
(3) Measure the length across the circle.
(4) Divide the first number by the second and you arrive at pi .

No matter who you are, what language you speak, where you live on Earth, what base you use (binary, hexadecimal, decimal), you still arrive at the same value of pi. No matter where you live in the universe (human, alien), or what time period (alongside dinosaurs, before Christ, today, or in a million years) it will still be the same. It is built into the fabric of the universe. See the last page of Contact the book...




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