τ vs π: proceedings of the Rewley House day school held on 1 June 2013

Hosted by Robin Whitty and Robin Wilson

What is presented below is not a complete record of what was discussed, which included a good deal of input from attendees.
The links below include all the materials which were handed out to attendees. Links will open in a new browser window.
More links on Tau and the Tau vs Pi issue may be found here.

1000 – 1115 The day kicked off with a film of a lightning-speed recitation of the first 500 digits of π by Gregory Carlson, a young student from Colorado (there wouldn't have been time, but there is a >2000-digit τ rejoinder on film which takes 70 minutes; a whole weekend school would have been required for the unofficial world record for π which is 105 digits in 16 hours by Akira Haraguchi).
We were then priviledged to receive a visit from Ludolph van Ceulen who told us about the History of Pi, covering the periods before, during and after his lifetime. Robin Wilson was sufficiently impressed by this presentation that he gave a repeat performance of it himself, a few years ago, at Gresham College.
1145 – 1300 The Tau Manifesto and the Pi Manifesto were introduced with various mathematical examples including Girard's Theorem PDF file icon. The technical background was kept to a minimum: this student hand-out from Queen Mary covers everything. We discussed Euler's role in fixing π as the circle constant, as uncovered in the Euler archive by τ experts. We watched the well-known short film Pi is (Still) Wrong by Vi Hart.
1400 – 1515 Some more mathematical examples were covered including Buffon's needle PDF file icon, a continued fraction expansion PDF file icon for τ, and various examples from theoremoftheday.org (where you can discover, by the way, why Robin Wilson has an Erdős number of 1).
1545 – 1700 A Youtube clip of a demonstration by τ fanatics on π day introduced the topic of whether, and how, π should be deposed. Various non-mathematical examples of changes in established tradition were discussed: decimalisation of currency, Sweden's Dagen H, SI units, summer time, etc etc.

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