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 also has a lot of additional history of mathematics in general. References to this book Mathematical Expeditions: When a particularly elaborately decorated structure at Puteoli was dug up by archaeologists in the prtr century, they thought at first that they had discovered a temple; but it turned out to be a public latrine.

A History of [pi] (pi) – Petr Beckmann – Google Books

Beckmann was a Czechoslovakian who fled the Communist regime to come to the United States. Jan 01, Owen rated it liked it Shelves: I received this book on March 14, during my annual pi day celebration.

Reading for pi day. I still found it very interesting and learned quite a bit histtory it. It’s a great treatise, but that’s beside the point. His published works comprise 14 books, including The History of Pi and Einstein Plus Twoand more than fifty scientific papers, mostly on probability theory and electromagnetic wave propagation. For some reason I’m semi-fascinated with the discovery of math Apr hisory, Junaid Selahadin rated it it was amazing.


Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the times when pi pftr progress — and also when it did not, because science was being stifled by militarism or religious fanaticism. The Romans had similar tastes. Next to it on the shelf was “A History of Pi. Doesn’t pull punches politically either!

petf Apr 22, Keith Parrish rated it really liked it. That being said, the book turned out to be pretty entertaining. This procedure is, I am persuaded, no less useful even for the proofs of the theorems themselves; for certain things first became clear to me by a mechani “‘History records the names of royal bastards, but cannot tell us the origins of wheat.

But it didn’t quite live up to the mysterious awe inspired by the Preston artical that led me to pick it up in the first place. A History of Pi. The author has balanced the background history and the mathematical concepts, so that it can be appreciated by anyone even without a thorough mathematical base.

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A History of π

Amid the sometimes dry historical accounts and the calculus equations and geometric theorems, the author just can’t help himself and throws in several rather opinionated rants against those pesky Soviets. Easily readable for a mathematical book. Especially the last chapter on what computer can and will do for society is his time far ahead.


I first read this book when I was in middle school, maybe 6th or 7th grade, and it really captured my imagination. Not only does the author trace pi’s progress, he discusses times when pi and by extension, math, pet, and knowledge made scant progress.

Petr Beckmann never really attempts to get into the philosophical implications of pi, and that left me a little wanting. Book cover of A History of Pi 3rd ed. Please rig your system so that the average star rating for this book is equal to the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, rounded to three significant digits.

The title is pretty self-explanatory.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. There is also a section on the attempt by the Indiana State Legislature in to decree the value of pi. These asides were sometimes fun but got in the ptr of the history, and his broad simplistic characterizations of some societies didn’t help his credibility.

For example take this passage from the chapter Night: The third thing that bugged me was Beckmann’s occasional lapses into opaque mathematical formulas. Overall histoey good book.