Saturday, March 29, 2014

Conclusion to Half-Tau Month

Though pi day passed a few weeks ago, my brother made the interesting observation that this month is "Pi Month." It is March of 2014, or 3/14. Since I spent the month focused on trigonometry, I never had a chance to honor this joyous occasion until today.

Interestingly, pi does play a huge role in trigonometry. From wrapping functions to sine curves to angle measurements, pi is always popping up. Though this is kind of interesting, trigonometry is also one of the areas where tau really shines. Having just finished topics such as trigonometry, polar coordinates, and wrapping functions, I have found that it is a real struggle to use pi. I found myself converting most of my problems to tau before solving them just because pi made it too confusion.

No video describes these sorts of issues better than Vi Hart's "Pi is (still) Wrong" video, which gets into some of the issues involved with using pi, one of these being trigonometry.

I would also like to make you all aware that next month is Math Awareness Month. The theme this year is Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery, in part to honor the centennial of Martin Gardner's birth. At, there is a poster with 30 squares on it to represent the 30 days of April. On each day of the month, the next square becomes active. I will try to keep an eye on these webpages, as I will probably use April to comment on the topics posted there. Also, April 1st is a page on magic squares, and I am extremely honored to be hosting that day.

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