A whole lot of pi

SALEM, Va. — A high school student Tuesday recited 8,784 digits of Pi — the non-repeating and non-terminating decimal — likely placing him among the top Pi-reciters in the world.
Gaurav Rajav, 15, had hoped to recite 10,790 digits and set a new record in the United States and North America. But he remembered enough to potentially place third in national and North American Pi recitation and 12th in the world.
His ranking should be verified by the Pi World Ranking List within two months.
“I’m kind of disappointed, but I guess I did OK,” said Gaurav, a junior at Salem High School. —Associated Press, March 15, 2006

lot-pi123In my life, I’ve memorized my Social Security number, my Discover card number, my telephone number, and the dates of my children’s birthdays. Oh, and I know Pi to 5 decimal places: 3.14159. A math savant I am not.

When I was young Gaurav’s age, I was busy memorizing the words to Louie Louie, and every so often I’d crack open my trigonometry textbook and pretend to be fascinated, just to give my teacher a thrill.

This kid scares me.

And what’s even scarier is that at 8,784 decimal places, he is only the 12th-ranked Pi reciter in the world! No wonder American jobs are being shipped overseas.

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  1. No wonder.

  2. I thought you or some of your readers might be interested in this related article. It is about an autistic savant who can “recall, in exact detail, the 7,600 books he has read” and “can figure out cube roots quicker than a calculator and recall pi to 22,514 decimal places”. Amazingly, he remembers numbers and calculates answers by seeing their shape, color and feeling: The Guardian