How many digits can you recite from pi?

Pi written on blackboard, Number Crunchers competition

Pi. How many digits can you recite from this never-ending circular sum?

Ashley Noesjirwan of Randwick Public School impressed the crowd at the Grand Final of the Number Crunchers Maths Competition by reciting pi to over 800 decimal places!

What is the Number Crunchers competition?

The Number Crunchers competition, held at Connells Point Public School is a yearly event established in 2008 by Mr Andrew Taylor, a former Sylvania High School Mathematics teacher.

The competition is open to year 6 students across Australia and tests a multitude of student skills such as memory in the Golden Pi category, and speedy logic in the Rubik’s cube category.

Running like a spelling bee, one student is left standing at the end to claim the title of Grand Champion and Prime Mathematician.



Read the Careers with STEM: Maths magazine for 2018 for more fun maths news, and to see where maths skills can take you.


Ashley’s victory

Ashley managed to recite pi to 849 decimal places to be exact, which landed her 2nd overall in the entire Number Crunchers competition.

“It started out as a whole class activity,” says Ashley. “It really seemed to catch on and the class became competitive. We would have a weekly Pi competition at the end of our lesson and it got very close between me and another student, and practising against her really motivated me to keep going.”



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Memory challenge

But… how did she manage to remember 849 digits?

“Every week I looked at another one hundred digits and worked out patterns. I memorised by looking for patterns and repetitions, looking for parts that were similar and different.”

The competition has showed Ashley that setting goals can be super rewarding, if you’re willing to put in the hard work it takes to achieve them.

Now, she’s looking forward to the future and definitely sees more maths in high school and her career future.

“I am looking forward to maths at High School and want to take on more difficult work.”

Plus, her maths skills are now coming in handy in surprising ways.

“I just started learning how to sew. My knowledge of shapes and measurement will come in handy as I learn!”

Want to test your strength at memorising pi? Visit the pi day website for quizzes, memory cards and more!

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Eliza Brockwell

Author: Eliza Brockwell

Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.



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