# Don’t Mess With The Numbers

People can be well-intentioned but sometimes administrators should stay well out of things.

As we know, pi is a number that defines what a circle is.

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and it’s the same for every circle: 3.141592 followed by an infinite string of other digits.

However, In late-19th-century Indiana the state’s legislators tried to pass a bill that legally defined the value of pi as 3.2.

They thought this would make their children’s maths education much simpler.

This was all down to doctor and amateur mathematician Edward J. Goodwin. He binned Archimedes’ formula for the area of a circle and replaced it with his own formula using imprecise versions of the important measurements in his diagram, including pi.

Pi is a transcendental irrational number and it’s impossible to square the circle…..unless you tinker with the numbers and so Goodwin thought he could achieve immortality.

Unbelievably, Goodwin managed to convince Indiana State Representative Taylor I. Record to introduce a bill in the state’s General Assembly of 1897 to make his method a matter of state law.

Think this is mad, then take a look at this article too.

Sometimes in maths you’ve just got to eat humble pi.