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Date Archive: 2015 June

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2 Pi or Not 2 Pi?

Three months ago the world (or at least the geek world) celebrated Pi Day of the Century (3/14/15...). Today (6/28) is another math day: 2π-day, or Tau Day (2π = 6.28319...). Some say that Tau Day is really the day to celebrate, and that τ(=2π) should be the most prominent constant, not π. It all started in 2001 with the famous opening line of a watershed essay by Bob Palais, a mathematician at the University of Utah: "I know it will be called blasphemy by some, but I believe that π is wrong." Which has given rise in some circles to the celebration of Tau Day—or, as many people say, the one day on which you are allowed to eat two pies. But is it true that τ is the better constant? In today's world, it's quite easy to test, and the Wolfram Language makes this task much simpler. (Indeed, Michael Trott's recent blog post on dates in pi—itself inspired by Stephen Wolfram's Pi Day of the Century post—made much use of the Wolfram Language.) I started by looking at 320,000 preprints from arXiv.org to see in practice how many formulas involve 2π rather than π alone, or other multiples of π. Here is a WordCloud of some formulas containing 2π:

EWTC 2015: Celebrating Wolfram in Europe

Thirty talks, one Wolfram Language code tutorial, one image processing workshop, and 130 delegates---plus a rogue appearance from a strategically placed pineapple---all added up to another successful and entertaining European Wolfram Technology Conference in Germany earlier this month.

Dates Everywhere in Pi(e)! Some Statistical and Numerological Musings about the Occurrences of Dates in the Digits of Pi

In a recent blog post, Stephen Wolfram discussed the unique position of this year's Pi Day of the Century and gave various examples of the occurrences of dates in the (decimal) digits of pi. In this post, I'll look at the statistics of the distribution of all possible dates/birthdays from the last 100 years within the (first ten million decimal) digits of pi. We will find that 99.998% of all digits occur in a date, and that one finds millions of dates within the first ten million digits of pi. Here I will concentrate on dates than can be described with a maximum of six digits. This means I'll be able to uniquely encode all dates between Saturday, March 14, 2015, and Sunday, March 15, 1915—a time range of 36,525 days.

Embrace the Maker Movement with the Raspberry Pi 2

"All of us are makers. We're born makers. We have this ability to make things, to grasp things with our hands. We use words like 'grasp' metaphorically to also think about understanding things. We don't just live, but we make. We create things." —Dale Dougherty I joined the maker movement last year, first by making simple things like a home alarm system, then by becoming a mentor in local hackathons and founding a Wolfram Meetup group in Barcelona. There is likely an open community of makers that you can join close to where you live; if not, the virtual community is open to everyone. So what are you waiting for? With the Raspberry Pi 2 combined with the Wolfram Language, you really have an amazing tool set you can use to make, tinker, and explore.
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Model and Simulate Cooling Circuits with the SmartCooling Library

Explore the contents of this article with a free Wolfram SystemModeler trial. The SystemModeler Library Store, launched with the release of Wolfram SystemModeler 4, is continually growing with free and purchasable libraries developed by both Wolfram and third parties. One of our commercial newcomers is SmartCooling, a Modelica library developed by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) that is used for modeling and simulating cooling circuits. When I was asked to present this library on our blog, my first thought was, "Who better to demonstrate the ideas of SmartCooling than the people who actually developed it?" So I asked Thomas Bäuml, one of the creators of SmartCooling, to help answer some of my questions regarding the principles behind the library and its applications.