# SFU CoLab Pi Day Open House

## Friday, March 14, 2003

Pi Day Information Package

Pi Day Pictures

### Travel Directions

Here is a map of SFU.

#### By Car

Prepaid parking permits for Visitors' Parking Lot B have been arranged for participants and are ready to be picked up from the Information Centre. From the Lot B, enter the Applied Sciences Building and follow the main corridor until you see the Earth Sciences office on your left. Enter the stairwell adjacent to the left of this office and go down to the floor below to find CECM and CoLab.

#### By Bus

Take the bus to the terminal. (Do not get off the bus at the Information Centre.) The bus terminal is very close to Visitors' Parking Lot B. Enter the Applied Sciences Building and follow the main corridor until you see the Earth Sciences office on your left. Enter the stairwell adjacent to the left of this office and go down to the floor below to find CECM and CoLab.
### Lecture Abstracts

**Time: 2:00pm**

**Title: The Life of Pi**

**Speaker: Jonathan Borwein**

In December 2002, over a trillion digits of pi were computed in Tokyo. Forty years ago computing the billionth digit of pi seemed to be impossible in the rest of time.

The story of Pi reflects the most seminal, the most serious and sometimes the silliest aspects of mathematics. A surprising amount of the most important mathematics and a significant number of the most important mathematicians have contributed to its unfolding -- directly or otherwise.

Pi is one of the few concepts in mathematics whose mention evokes a response of recognition and interest in those not concerned professionally with the subject.
It has been a part of human culture and the educated imagination for more than twenty five hundred years (my title is that of this year's Booker Prize winning novel by Yann Martel).
The computation of Pi is virtually the only topic from the most ancient stratum of mathematics that is still of serious interest to modern mathematical research. And to pursue this topic as it developed throughout the millennia is to follow a thread through the history of mathematics that winds through geometry, analysis and special functions, numerical analysis, algebra and number theory.
It offers a subject which provides mathematicians with examples of many current mathematical techniques as well as a palpable sense of their historical development.
My talk will provide witness to many of these claims and will be presented partly over the Internet.
Indeed, we will "compute" a trillion digits of Pi -- during the lecture.
(See also www.cecm.sfu.ca/personal/jborwein/pi_cover.html and
www.colab.sfu.ca/3_14/Pi.html.)

**Time: 3:00 pm**

**Title: Knots in Action**

**Speaker: Rob Scharein**

This talk will be a quick introduction to an exciting branch of modern mathematics, knot theory. Although they are everyday objects, knots also have interesting mathematical properties, they can be classified, proofs can be made about them, and mysterious unsolved problems (that look like they should be easy) remain. We'll examine how mathematicians tackle some of these issues. Also, relationships to other fields, such as physics, biology, chemistry, and keeping your horse tied to a pole will be discussed. The talk will be highly visual, informal, and interactive.