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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Okay, so it was published in the 70s, but regardless, the book got too preachy for me; at one point I think he asks, “How many Newtons have died in Viet Bevkmann 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.

Young Limited preview – Its more like a history of mathematics in general. I’m enjoying this book; even with Beckmann’s rants. Pi in the computer age is a tacked-on last chapter in later editions. Sometimes it is necessary to reject unbiblical scientific theories if they contradict biblical truth. I did find he sloughed over too many details in some cases, presenting some math I don’t quite remember with not enough detail to remind me. All paths lead to pi, and Beckmann is a fantastic guide.

He wrote more than 60 scientific papers and eight technical books. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. A chi p on his shoulder. Overall a good book. Japanese – Seki Takakazu — who knew Pi to 10 decimal places https: Future editions should both expand on pi’s use in modern math and update or better, eliminate the preachy Cold War side-notes.


I agree with many reviewers’ comments about his rants – sometimes I wondered if the point of the book was to be a soapbox for railing against any kind of oppression, especially against science. Nice book containing historical overview on how pi was computed throughout the centuries. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. I did f A lot of good information, some fun facts and something about various mathematicians. Leave out the differential calculus, too!

My library Help Advanced Book Search. 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. At one of the sessions, the chairman of the math department came out and said, “This is what we teach in math here at NCSSM.

We have failed so far. Near as I can tell, the half-angle arctangent series are muy importanto to programming computers to figure out pi for us.

A History of Pi – Petr Beckmann – Google Books

A little light on Eastern mathematicians. The rating was reduced due to beckmxnn inclusion of several snarky and otherwise irrelevant comments regarding politics and the actions of governments.

Especially the last chapter on what computer can and will do for society is his time far ahead.

The fact that it was written in adds a little bit of out-of-date flavor that makes “A History of Pi” a lot more amusing than it otherwise might have been. There is also a section on the attempt by the Indiana State Legislature in to decree the pegr of pi.


But even there, its far too anecdotal to serve as any real history lesson. His dislike of authority gives A History of Pi a style that belies its dry title.

Apr 19, Junaid Selahadin rated it it was amazing. He seems to reject Christianity as unscientific always. It beckmnn published as A History of Pi in by St.

Beckmann jumps and skips from one era to another giving you the lowdown on a random sampling of famous mathemeticians. He 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. This Factor manifests itself in a few amusing ways, not the least notably in the book’s final chapter apparently added in its third edition about “The Computer Age”.

May 17, Jeroen Bos-mulder rated it it was amazing. Martin’s PressJan 6, – Mathematics – pages.

A History of π

Beckmann was a Czechoslovakian who fled the Communist regime to come to the United States. He has authored eleven books and more than fifty scientific papers, mostly on probability theory and electromagnetic wave propagation.

In that single chapter, Preston did a fascinating job of pulling you into the bizarre world of pi, and made me understand why a mathemetician could get lost in all those infinite, endless numbers.