π is an irrational number, which means that its value cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction. Consequently, its decimal representation never ends or repeats. It is also a transcendental number, which implies, among other things, that no finite sequence of algebraic operations on integers (powers, roots, sums, etc.) can be equal to its value; proving this was a late achievement in mathematical history and a significant result of 19th century German mathematics.

Throughout the history of mathematics, there has been much effort to determine π more accurately and to understand its nature; fascination with the number has even carried over into non-mathematical culture (as with this fashionable t-shirt, for example).

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## Monday, March 14, 2011

### Happy Pi Day!

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