Happy Pi Day! Science Friday has a fun discussion of Babylonian and Egyptian scholars originally calculated pi, and a neat way to calculate pi using toothpicks, a formula and some old fashioned geometrical probability.

  • Bob Cerf

    We tried the tooth pick method for approximating pi in our after school math program and didn’t get close to pi. My kids asked for more specific instructions on how to make a random toss. We tried dropping the tooth picks from different heights and even tossing them but the data didn’t approximate pi.

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Author

Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

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