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Some Historical Context – and Inspiration – on π for Any Budding Mathematicians out There

This quick read by ‘Oxford Mathematician turned educator’ Junaid Mubeen seeks to both contextualize and inspire anyone curious about the field of mathematics. He takes a little bit of a swipe at Pi Day – which we are, of course, fans of – but the thesis is still strong and is succinctly summed up in the final sentence. (But I’ll not spoil that here. You should read it for yourself.)

I devoted some of my vacation to perusing the Rhind papyrus. It makes for fascinating reading. Dated 1650 BC (and now housed in the British Museum), this five-metre long scroll captures the rich mathematical legacy of Egypt. The pyramids of Giza stand tall as testimony to the Egyptians’ amazing skill and temperament for measurement. The Rhind papyrus gathers their broader contributions to arithmetic and geometry. It includes the Egyptians’ very own decimal counting system and a collection of problems that demonstrate an extraordinary flair for unit fractions.

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