The measurement was a huge success — thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the mathematics!!! More news to follow soon, but here is one picture 🙂
Join us at the Great Circle in Heath, OH for the 2016 π measurement challenge!
The number π (pi) is the ratio of circumference to diameter in a circle. This ratio is the same for all circles, and is just a bit larger than 3.
On Saturday, March 12 2016, we will visit the Great Circle to measure its circumference, measure its diameter, and divide! Participants of all ages are invited to help with the measurement and learn more about the history and mathematics of this spectacular site. Experts at the Newark Earthworks Center will join us and explain how the mathematics of this site connects it with other sites in Ohio.
How close will our measurement be to the true value of π? Join us to find out! We’ll announce the results publicly on π day, Monday March 14.
When: Saturday, March 12, 2016; 1pm – 4pm
Who: All members of the public are invited to observe and participate!
This is a collaborative outreach event organized by mathematician Niles Johnson (OSU Newark) and historian Richard Shiels, director of the Newark Earthworks Center. Additional support has been provided by the OSU STEAM Factory. If you have further questions, please contact Niles.
Mathematics of the Newark Earthworks
The perimeter (circumference) of the Great Circle is the same as the perimeter of the Wright Earthworks Square about a mile away. And the area of the Wright Earthworks Square is the same as the area of the Observatory Circle attached to the Octagon Earthworks, even further away.
The American Indians who built these earthworks 2000 years ago must have known the relationship between circle diameter, perimeter, and area — the number that we now call π.
More information about these sites and their cultural, historical, mathematical values, take a look around the Newark Earthworks Center Blog!
The π measurement challenge
The idea for a challenge to measure π using only simple tools and mathematical knowledge started last year with The Aperiodical’s π Approximation Challenge. A number of other math enthusiasts around the world joined the challenge, and we expect 2016 to be even more fun! We’ll post other notable entries here, so check back to see other ways that people have found to measure π!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What age groups is this event for?
A: This is an all-ages event. Anyone who can walk can help mark lines on the circle and measure lengths. Older kids will enjoy planning their own measurements and helping combine the results. We’ll explain the mathematics at appropriate levels for any age!
Q: Can I advertise this event to my school/church/club/social group?
A: Absolutely! Like mathematics itself, this event is free and intended to be enjoyed by all. If you’d like, feel free to download our flyer and distribute widely.
Q: Will the event be postponed if the weather is bad?
A: No. In order to have our results ready for π day, we need to make the measurements rain or shine!
Q: Will there be pie?!
A: We are currently seeking donors. If your business would like to contribute, please contact Niles Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q: Who can I contact for more information?
A: This is a collaborative outreach event organized by mathematician Niles Johnson (OSU Newark) and historian Richard Shiels, director of the Newark Earthworks Center. If you have further questions, please contact Niles.