Pie Times Two

No more pi? Perish the thought.

Happy \tau-Day everyone.

For those not yet in the know, \tau-Day is celebrated today – June 28th, or 6/28 – because \tau=2\pi, and  2\pi\approx 6.28.

So why \tau?

Great question. For a full description of the reasons behind \tau-Day and the use of \tau over \pi, check out the \tau-Manifesto website here. The author puts forth some pretty strong arguments supporting a pedagogical approach that presents students with the concept of \tau instead of \pi. While I don’t have a problem with the arguments per se, I’ll have to admit that I still favour \pi.

Why do I write this?

Well, it’s not because of some die-hard mathematical belief that \pi is somehow better than \tau. It’s also not because I believe one is better than the other pedagogically speaking. In fact, I think the debate is something that I’d love to present to my next math class because anything that gets people talking about math is good in my books.

No, my reason for selecting \pi over \tau is far simpler. I just love \pi. But I’ll admit that my love of \pi could be due to my educational bias. That is, I was raised and trained with \pi and not \tau. Were my upbringing and education different, I might suggest to you that \tau is the better way to go.

There is of course another, more delicious reason that I might prefer \pi over \tau. Those who know me will already be aware that I celebrate \pi-Day by eating pie. I do this partly because it’s the proper thing to do on \pi-Day, but mainly because I’m a big fan of pie and will use any and all opportunities to indulge.

So, if I were to accept \tau over \pi, I’d have to look at \tau not as 2\pi, but simply as \tau. See the problem?

Accepting \tau over \pi would mean that I’d not view \tau-Day as 2\pi-Day. And of course this means that I would not have a perfect excuse to eat twice the pie that I’d regularly eat on \pi-Day.

And why eat only one slice of pie, when the math suggests I should eat two?


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