On pi-day

Mr Unapologetic has a good explanation what is wrong with the celebration of \pi -day though he overstates his case.

It would certainly be nice if something more meaningful was celebrated but perhaps we should take every chance we get to popularize mathematics. I am not sure.

It reminds me of the discussion about prizes in mathematics. Are they good because they give mathematics publicity or bood because they give a false impression of how mathematics is practiced? I don’t think anyone knows the answer. Personally I think they fail competely to give any idea of how beautiful and important math is but at least people get reminded that it exists which is nice.

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2 Responses to “On pi-day”

  1. John Armstrong Says:

    Perhaps we should take every chance we get to popularize mathematics.

    This is the problem: \pi day doesn’t popularize anything. The only people who are at all interested are already on the inside. If anything, it drives away the general populace. “Oh, it’s some excuse for all those math geeks (i.e.: not me) to do some math-geeky thing.”

  2. Johan Richter Says:

    Maybe you’re right. It is essentially an empirical question.

    I don’t think anyone can claim to know what the general public who hears about it, from eg newspapers, think.

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