In celebration of Pi Day (3-14), here’s a neat little article on pi, and how it helped Archimedes to develop a method still in use today:
Aside from laying the groundwork for calculus, Archimedes taught us the power of approximation and iteration. He bootstrapped a good estimate into a better one, using more and more straight pieces to approximate a curved object with increasing accuracy.
More than two millennia later, this strategy matured into the modern field of “numerical analysis.”
A lot of this is stuff I was way more familiar with in high school, but sadly in the day-to-day work I don’t have any reason to keep in touch, and so I slowly lose touch. Should pull out a maths textbook one of these days to see how much I recall.