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A History of Pi is a non-fiction book by Petr Beckmann that presents a layman’s introduction to the concept of the mathematical constant pi (π). Contents . The history of pi, says the author, though a small part of the history of Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the times. Documents the calculation, numerical value, and use of the ratio from B.C. to the modern computer age, detailing social conditions in eras when progress.

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It’s just so adorable.

A History of Pi – Petr Beckmann – Google Books

I’m very interesting on pi and I’m very exiting now. I have read a number of such books. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Four decimal places are sufficient for the design of the finest engines; ten decimal places would be sufficient to obtain the circumference of the earth within a fraction of an inch”.

Beckmann was a prolific scientific author who wrote several electrical engineering textbooks and non-technical works, founded Golem Press, which published most of his books, and published his own monthly newsletter, Access to Energy.

Certainly it is a bit dated being published in the early 70s, but that isn’t strictly what I struggled with. Halfway through the book, the author writes that “the digits beyond the first few decimal places [of Pi] are of no practical scientific value.


It also has a lot of additional history of mathematics in general. No trivia or quizzes yet. There are, however, some definite historical misrepresentations and oversights. Want to Read saving…. But my problem is with his willful ignoring of facts, especially when you consider how little tolerance Beckmann has for good research.

A History of Pi – Wikipedia

Hiistory also pulls no punches when dealing with forces that have stifled or otherwise countermanded the course of scientific and mathematical progress, saving special vitriol for those who burned libraries. Other than that, it was a thoroughly engrossing read and definitely nice to have read for my continuing Mathematics x.

Indians – have contributions from the greats Varahamihira, Brahmagupta, SridharaAryabhatta and Madhava but one cannot go past Srinivasa Ramanujan whose fast exponentially converging infinite series of Pi opened the door for Digit Hunters to use computers to hostory Pi to trillions of decimal places. Makes you really appreciate the modern way we notate algebra and use vocabulary in math.

Steev Mathew I really enjoyed the book. I’m sitting here and thinking I might need to change my star rating to a 2-star.

A History of π

This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read, certainly the weirdest math book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Oct 05, Chad Bearden rated it liked it Shelves: Apparently one does not simply divide 22 by 7.

The Mayan history of pi was beckmnn likely burned by that one bishop, but the Chinese and Indian history I believe to be still in existence.


Amid the sometimes dry historical accounts and the becomann equations and geometric theorems, the author just can’t help himself and throws in several rather opinionated rants against those pesky Soviets.

His last chapter was a bit naive even for the time, IMO. I’ll close oof fanboy review by mentioning that in a footnote, Beckmann constructs a hypothetical sphere 8. May 17, Jeroen Bos-mulder rated it it was amazing. A little light on Eastern mathematicians. I still found it very interesting and learned quite a bit from it.

The history of pi, says the author, though a small part of the history of mathematics, is nevertheless a mirror of the history of man. Return to Book Page. He worked as a research scientist for the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences untilwhen he was invited as a Visiting Professor to the University of Colorado and he decided to stay permanently as professor of electrical engineering.

Fortunately I do have enough sense to duck or I would have been smacked in the face with a dangerously pointy arctangent function, and we all know how much that would have sucked. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.