Sunday, 13 March 2016

On This Day in Math - March 14

Two of my favorite guys celebrate Pi-Day

"It is nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry."
~Albert Einstein

Today, have your Pi(e) both ways!
The 74th day of the year.

74 is related to an open question in mathematics since 742 + 1 is prime. Hardy and Littlewood conjectured that asymptotic number of elements in this sequence, primes = n2 + 1, not exceeding n is approximately \(c \frac {\sqrt{n}} {log(n)}\) for some constant c. There is a $1000 prize for best solution to an open sequence during 2015 and submitting it to OEIS, details here

A good time to introduce you student's to a nice way to find many digits of pi, pick ) pick a relatively close apppx of pi (I'll use 2.5) and call it x, then x+ sin(x) is a better approximation, and repeating continues to give more and more digits of pi up to limits of calculator For 2.5 we get 3.098 -> 3.14157 -> 3.141592654 .  (student's might be challenged for why (and when) this works).

And of course, for Pi Day, we need the world's most accurate Pi Chart


EVENTS
1664 Isaac Barrow delivered his “Prefatory Oration” as the first Lucasion Professor at Cambridge. It lasted two hours, and contained the following plea for students to come to his office: “If it be then your Pleasure, ye Lovers of Study, come always; be not restrained through any Fear, or retarded too much by Modesty, what you may do by your Right, you shall make me do willingly, nay gladly and joyfully. Ask your Questions, make your Enquiries, bid and command; you shall neither find me adverse nor refractory to your Commands, but officious and obedient. If you meet with any Obstacles or Difficulties, or are retarded with any Doubts while you are walking in the cumbersome Road of this Study of Mathematics, I beg you to impart them, and I shall endeavor to remove every Hindrance out of your Way to the best of my Knowledge and Ability.” In closing and referring to himself he states that “An accomplished mathematician, is a most wretched orator.” * The Prefactory Oration' (address to the University of Cambridge upon being elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, 14 Mar 1664)

1667/8 Pepys records in his diary that he saw Sir. Samuel Morland’s adding machine for pounds, shillings and pence. Samuel Pepys also wrote in his diary, that the machine of Morland is very pretty, but not very useful, while the famous scientist Robert Hooke, for example, found the machines very silly.
*NMSI


1818 John Adams writes to Thomas Jefferson about David Rittenhouse and his Orrery, he says:
"Rittenhouse was a virtuous and amiable man, an exquisite mechanician, master of the astronomy known in his time, an expert mathematician, a patient calculator of numbers." U Penn Library website

In 1839, Sir John Herschel referred to "photography" in a lecture to the Royal Society—possibly the first use of the word. Following Fox Talbot's publication of his invention of what became known as the Calotype process, a number of scientific men made their own investigations, including not only Herschel but also Berard, Robert Hunt and Draper. Herschel used the name Chrysotype (from the Greek word for gold) for his process. It used paper washed in a solution of ammonio-citrate of iron and brought out the image with a solution of soda or chloride of gold, or with nitrate of silver, and fixing it in the first case by washing it with iodide of potassium and in the second, with hyposulphite of soda. It had technical difficulties in controlling the contrast, colour and fogging of the image. *TIS

1930 At breakfast in the family home in Oxford, 11-year-old Venetia Burney suggested a name for a newly discovered planet that her grandfather read about in his Times of London edition. Venetia’s grandfather, the retired head of the historic Bodleian Library at Oxford University, passed the idea along to an astronomer friend of his, who telegraphed his colleagues at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. They voted unanimously in favor of the name. Pluto, the solar system’s ninth planet, was born. Read more at *Washington Post.   In 1877, Venetia's grandfather's brother, Henry, a housemaster at Eton, had successfully proposed that the two dwarf moons of Mars be named Phobos and Deimos, two attendants of the Roman war god, whose names mean fear and terror.

1934 France issued a stamp for the centenary of the death of Joseph Jacquard (1752–1834), inventor of an improved loom for figured weaving. The punched cards that he invented provided the model for computer cards. [Scott #295] *VFR

1951 Kurt G¨odel shared the first Einstein award with Julian Schwinger. *VFR

1955 Bell Labs Announces TRADIC "Giant Brain":
AT&T Bell Laboratories announces the completion of the first fully transistorized computer, TRADIC. TRADIC contained nearly 800 transistors, which replaced the standard vacuum tube and allowed the machine to operate on fewer than 100 watts -- or one-twentieth the power required by a comparable vacuum tube computer.*CHM


1962 Norway issued a pair of stamps commemorating the centenary of the birth of Vilhelm Bjerknes (1862–1951), physicist, meterologist, and mathematician. [Scott #403–4] *VFR

1988 The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.
On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224), recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day *Wik

1995 On Tuesday, March 14, Speaking at the string theory conference at University of Southern California , Edward Witten made the surprising suggestion that the five existing string theories were in fact not distinct theories, but different limits of a single theory which he called M-theory. Witten's proposal was based on the observation that the five string theories can be mapped to one another by certain rules called dualities and are identified by these dualities. "E. Witten: Some problems of strong and weak coupling" *Wik

2012 Judge rules you can't copy rite Pi... The story stripped from Devlin's Angle by Keith Devlin:
The story begins on Pi Day (March 14, or 3.14) 2011, when New Scientist posted a video by a musician called Michael John Blake, in which he played a piano rendering of the first 31 decimal places of pi, played at a tempo of 157 beats per minute (314 divided by two).

The video immediately went viral, but a few hours later, YouTube was contacted by a lawyer representing jazz musician Lars Erickson, who claimed that Blake's work sounded very similar to his 1992 composition "Pi Symphony", which he had registered with the US copyright office. With a claim of copyright infringement, YouTube removed the video. But Blake decided to lodge an appeal.
...
One year later, on March 14 of this year, US district court judge Michael H. Simon, deliberately choosing to announce his decision on Pi Day, dismissed Erickson’s claim of copyright infringement. "Pi is a non-copyrightable fact, and the transcription of pi to music is a non-copyrightable idea," Simon wrote in his legal opinion.
So now, without fear of prosecution, is the first 31 digits of Pi.

What Pi Sounds Like from Michael John Blake on Vimeo.

2015 Pi day on this day will have a special moment (or two such moments for folks with 12 hour clocks), at 9:26:53 of 3/14/15. Approximating \( \pi \approx 3.14159265 \)

2015 This day is the planned first day issue of a Danish stamp showing the popular Hanson writing ball from 1878. The writing ball was invented in 1865 by the reverend Rasmus Malling-Hansen (1835–1890) principal of the Royal Institute for the Deaf-Mutes in Copenhagen. The machine included an electromagnetic escapement for the Ball, thus making Malling-Hansen's machine the first electric typewriter. It was exhibited at a great industrial exhibition in Copenhagen in 1873, at the world exhibition in Vienna in 1873, and at the Paris exhibition or Exposition Universelle. All through the 1870s it won several awards. It was sold in many countries in Europe, and it is known that it was still in use in offices in London as late as 1909. *Wik

2016 Sphere packing for eight dimensions is solved by Maryna Viazovska. In 1611, Kepler conjectured that here was no way to pack spheres more densly than the way we would normally stack oranges or cannonballs, with every triangle of three supporting another nestled above (and below) tangent to all of the first three. By 1831 Gauss had managed to prove the conjecture for 3d. In her paper Viazovska proved no packing of unit balls in Euclidean space R8 has density greater than that of the E8-lattice packing. One week later, (March 21) building on her work, with collaboration of four others, they were able to prove that the Leech lattice is the densest packing of congruent spheres in twenty-four dimensions, and that it is the unique optimal periodic packing. *arxiv.

BIRTHS
1692 Pieter van Musschenbroek (14 Mar 1692; 19 Sep 1761 at age 69) Dutch mathematician and physicist who invented the Leyden jar, the first effective device for storing static electricity. He grew up in a family that manufactured scientific instruments such as telescopes, microscopes and air pumps. Before Musschenbroek's invention, static electricity had been produced by Guericke using a sulphur ball, with minor effects. In Jan 1746, Musschenbroek placed water in a metal container suspended on silk cords, and led a brass wire through a cork into the water. He built up a charge in the water. When an unwary assistant touched the metal container and the brass wire, the discharge from this apparatus delivered a substantial shock of static electricity. The Leyden name is linked to the discovery having being made at the University of Leiden. *TIS

1835 Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (14 Mar 1835; 4 Jul 1910 at age 75) Italian astronomer who is remembered for his observations of Mars over seven oppositions and named the "seas" and "continents". In 1877, he saw on the surface of the planet Mars the markings that he called canali (channels), later misinterpreted as "canals." He made extensive studies, both observational and theoretical, of comets, determining from the shapes of their tails that there was a repulsive force from the sun. He showed that meteor swarms travel through space in cometary orbits. He explained the regular meteor showers as the result of the dissolution of comets and proved it for the Perseids. He suggested that Mercury and Venus rotate on their axes, discovered the asteroid Hesperia (1861) and was a major observer of double stars. *TIS

1838 Rev U Jessee Kniseley (March 14, 1838 - May 19, 1881) was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio March 14 1838 He was a self made man and in a very great measure self educated. The degree of MA was conferred on him by Marietta College and that of PhD by Wittenberg College in which latter institution he had formerly been a classical and theological student. He also attended Jefferson College Pa but was not a graduate of any college. He was chosen President and Professor of Mathematics of Luther College, an institution of ephemeral existence. Rev Dr Knisely was a Lutheran preacher of marked ability and great eloquence and for fourteen years previous to his death he was the loved pastor of the church of that denomination at Newcomerstown. He was a very fine mathematician and excelled especially in the solution of algebraic and geometrical problems The elegant solution of a Diophantine problem on pp 105 and 106 of the Mathematical Visitor Vol I No 4 and of the celebrated Malfatti's Problem pp 189 and 190 of No 6 are admirable samples of his superior skill in these departments of analysis. Rev Dr Knisely was also a master of language and the author of several works. Copies of his Parser's Manual and Arithmetical Questions for the Recreation of the Teacher and the Discipline of the Pupil are possessed by the writer. It is stated in the Tuscarawas Chroical from which the substance of a portion of this notice is taken that he was also author of Kniseley's Arithmetic and Mrs Knisely states that he had in preparation a work on the Carculus, but of these works the writer knows nothing. His last work was the revision of Ray's Higher Arithmetic and the Key which he completed but a short time before his death. He died May 19, 1881 at the age of 43 years 2 months and 5 days The disease that caused his death was a general prostration of the nervous system. *Artemas Martin, Mathematical Visitor January 1882

1862 Vilhelm F(riman) K(oren) Bjerknes (14 Mar 1862; 9 Apr 1951 at age 89) was a Norwegian meteorologist and physicist, one of the founders of the modern science of weather forecasting. As a young boy, Bjerknes assisted his father, Carl Bjerknes (a professor of mathematics) in carrying out experiments to verify the theoretical predictions that resulted from his father's hydrodynamic research. After graduating from university, Bjerknes moved on to his own work applying hydrodynamic and thermodynamic theories to atmospheric and hydrospheric conditions in order to predict future weather conditions. His work in meteorology and on electric waves was important in the early development of wireless telegraphy. He evolved a theory of cyclones known as the polar front theory with his son Jakob. *TIS

1864 József Kürschák (14 March 1864 – 26 March 1933) was a Hungarian mathematician noted for his work on trigonometry and for his creation of the theory of valuations. He proved that every valued field can be embedded into a complete valued field which is algebraically closed. In 1918 he proved that the sum of reciprocals of consecutive natural numbers is never an integer. Extending Hilbert's argument, he proved that everything that can be constructed using a ruler and a compass, can be constructed by using a ruler and the ability of copying a fixed segment. He was elected a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1897. *Wik

1879 Albert Einstein (14 Mar 1879; 18 Apr 1955 at age 76) German-American physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Recognized in his own time as one of the most creative intellects in human history, in the first 15 years of the 20th century Einstein advanced a series of theories that proposed entirely new ways of thinking about space, time, and gravitation. His theories of relativity and gravitation were a profound advance over the old Newtonian physics and revolutionized scientific and philosophic inquiry.*TIS


1882 WacLlaw Sierpinski (14 March 1882 in Warsaw, - 21 Oct 1969 in Warsaw) His grave carries—according to his wish—the inscription: Investigator of infinity. [Kuratowski, A Half Century of Polish Mathematics, p. 173; Works, p. 14] *VFR Sierpinski's most important work is in the area of set theory, point set topology and number theory. In set theory he made important contributions to the axiom of choice and to the continuum hypothesis. *SAU He is also remembered for his Sierpinski gasket or Triangle


1889 Oscar Chisini (March 14, 1889 – April 10, 1967) was an Italian mathematician. He introduced the Chisini mean in 1929. In 1929 he founded the Institute of Mathematics (Istituto di Matematica) at the University of Milan, along with Gian Antonio Maggi and Giulio Vivanti. He then held the position of chairman of the Institute from the early 1930s until 1959.The Chisini conjecture in algebraic geometry is a uniqueness question for morphisms of generic smooth projective surfaces, branched on a cuspidal curve. A special case is the question of the uniqueness of the covering of the projective plane, branched over a generic curve of degree at least five. *Wik

1911 Akira Yoshizawa (吉澤 章 Yoshizawa Akira; 14 March 1911 – 14 March 2005) was a Japanese origamist, considered to be the grandmaster of origami. He is credited with raising origami from a craft to a living art. According to his own estimation made in 1989, he created more than 50,000 models, of which only a few hundred designs were presented as diagrams in his 18 books. Yoshizawa acted as an international cultural ambassador for Japan throughout his career. In 1983, Emperor Hirohito awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, 5th class, one of the highest honors bestowed in Japan.
In March 1998, Yoshizawa was invited to exhibit his origami in the Louvre Museum. Although he had previously disliked his contemporaries, he was not opposed to having his photo taken with them. Many of his patterns had been diagrammed by his professional rivals, which angered Yoshizawa when he was younger.[citation needed] However, as he had aged, he found that he now enjoyed the company of his peers.
Yoshizawa died on 14 March 2005 in a hospital in Itabashi Ward, Tokyo due to complications of pneumonia on his 94th birthday *Wik Some of his work is shown in this video:


DEATHS
1874 Johann Heinrich von Mädler (29 May 1794, 14 Mar 1874 at age 79) German astronomer who (with Wilhelm Beer) published the most complete map of the Moon of the time, Mappa Selenographica, 4 vol. (1834-36). It was the first lunar map to be divided into quadrants, and it remained unsurpassed in its detail until J.F. Julius Schmidt's map of 1878. Mädler and Beer also published the first systematic chart of the surface features of the planet Mars (1830). *TIS

1973 Howard Hathaway Aiken (9 Mar 1900; 14 Mar 1973 at age 72) American mathematician who invented the Harvard Mark I, forerunner of the modern electronic digital computer. While a graduate student and instructor Harvard University, Aiken's research had led to a system of differential equations which could only be solved using numerical techniques, for which he began planning large computer. His idea was to use an adaptation of Hollerith's punched card machine. When eventually built, (1943) it weighed 35 tons, had 500 miles of wire and could compute to 23 significant figures. There were 72 storage registers and central units to perform multiplication and division. It was controlled by a sequence of instructions on punched paper tapes, and used punched cards to enter data and give output from the machine. *TIS

2005 Akira Yoshizawa (吉澤 章 Yoshizawa Akira; 14 March 1911 – 14 March 2005) (See birth in 1911 above)






Credits :
*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIA = Today in Astronomy
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia
*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell
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