The Pi Trivia Game

by Eve Andersson

     

Home : Pi : The Pi Trivia Game


Finally this is your chance to pay tribute to the magnificent transcendental number that we have all grown to love! Here are 25 questions (given to you 5 at a time), picked randomly from my pi question database. Get ready for the thrill of your lifetime, the ultimate challenge, The Pi Trivia Game!

1. Simon Plouffe has recently derived an algorithm for calculating pi in hexadecimal. Remarkably, this formula allows one to calculate the nth decimal of pi without calculating the previous digits. Incidentally, Plouffe was listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records. For which of the following accomplishments was he listed?




2. One way to approximate the value of pi is to have a computer pick two random numbers, x and y, each between -1 and 1. If it does so N times, and if, for M of those times x^2 + y^2 < 1, then pi is approximately equal to 4*M/N (presumably becoming more accurate as N increases). This method of approximation is an example of:




3. Answer the following question (an example of pi's importance in probability), posed and solved by George Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (solved also nowdays by many students in introductory statistics classes): Let a needle of length L be thrown at random onto a horizontal plane ruled with parallel lines spaced by a distance d (greater than L) from each other. What is the probability that the needle will intersect one of these lines?




4. One way to calculate the value of pi is to find the perimeter of polygons inscribing and circumscribing a circle. The circumference of the circle lies in between those two values, and the values approach pi as the number of sides of the polygon approaches infinity. Who originated this method of pi approximation?




5. What is the volume of a sphere (3-dimensional, not a hypersphere) [r = radius]?





eve@eveandersson.com