Subject: Re: Mnemonics for real numbers automatically [was: Pi Mnemonics]
I memorized the 51 digits I know when I was about nine. I didn't have
a fancy scheme like Conway's. I just recited them over and over from
a crib. I carried the crib for a couple of weeks, but I never needed
it after the first day. I have no explanation for the prosodic
"melody" that developed: perfect trochaic meter for about the first 35
digits, then breaking bizarrely into chaos with peculiar length and
stress on the 4 in position 36.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , _ , , , , , ,
3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510
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Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 14:52:38 -0500 (EST)
From: John Conway
Subject: Re: Mnemonics for real numbers automatically [was: Pi Mnemonics]
On Mon, 19 Feb 1996, Antreas P. Hatzipolakis wrote:
> Allan Wechsler wrote:
>
> >I suppose dozens of people remember Gardner' column that mentioned
> >several pi mnemonics.
>
>
Does anyone actually USE these mnemonics? Since they depend on the
exact choice of words, rather than their individual meanings, it would
seem to me that anyone who does so is VERY liable to make a mistake.
My own technique, for what it's worth, is to go through the digits
one wants to memorize, trying to make them "rhyme" or "alliterate".
For the first few digits of pi, this is quite easy:-
_ _ _
3 point 1415 9265 35
^ ^
_ _ _ _ _ _ __
8979 3238 4626 4338 3279
'' ''^^ ^^ ''''
This gets us very nicely to 30 digits, after which we group pairs of 3's
for the next 30 digits:
. _ _ __ _ _ _ . _ .
502 884 197 169 399 375 105 820 974 944
^ ^ ^ ^
(the hard-to-remember first and fourth blocks here are very similar)
and then the absolutely wonderful 10-digit block that contains all
10 digits (digits 61-70) and which I obviously can't rhyme or
alliterate:
59230 78164
but then it's very nice (15 places with three near-repeated 4-blocks)
_ _ _ _
0628 6208 998 6280
^^ ^^ ^^
and three reasonable 5-blocks take us up to 100 places:
.. _ .._
34825 34211 70679.
^ ^
I have often maintained that any person of normal intelligence
can memorize 50 places in half-an-hour, and often been challenged by
people who think THEY won't be able to, and have then promptly proved
them wrong. On such occasions, they are usually easily persuaded to
go on up to 100 places in the next half-hour.
Anyone who does this should note that the initial process of
"getting them in" is quite easy; but that the digits won't then
"stick" for a long time unless one recites them a dozen or more times
in the first day, half-a-dozen times per day thereafter for about a
week, a few times a week for the next month or so, and every now
and then thereafter. [Keep a "crib", so that whenever you find you've
forgotten some digits, you can quickly reinsert them!]
John Conway
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Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 20:48:56 +0200
From: xpolakis@hol.gr (Antreas P. Hatzipolakis)
Subject: Re: Mnemonics for real numbers automatically [was: Pi Mnemonics]
Allan Wechsler wrote:
>I suppose dozens of people remember Gardner' column that mentioned
>several pi mnemonics.
I know the M.G's column which reprinted in his:
Math. Puzzles and Diversions (Penguin Books)
BTW, does anyone know the reference of an article in S.A.
(1980-1990??) which contains mnemonics in many languages?
>My favorite was a paean to Archimedes that
>started:
>
>Now I, even I, would celebrate [3.14159]
>In rhymes unapt, the great [26535]
>Immortal Syracusan rivaled nevermore [8979]
This was composed by A.C. Orr (1906)
There are four more verses:
Who in his wondrous lore,
Passed on before,
Left men his guidance
How to circles mensurate.
Note that in Polish and Hungarian Pi Mnemonics the "paeanes" are
to Ludolf (= Ludolph van Ceulen)
>
>What do such mnemonics do when they get to the 10^-32 place, where the
>first zero pops up? One obvious solution is to use a real Greek pi,
>which has zero _English_ letters.
>
Given solutions for 0:
1. "noll" (= zero) in a Swedish Pi Mnemonic
2. a 10-letter word.
Examples:
"mysterieux" (in a French Pi mnem.)
"disturbing" (in an English Pi mnem. by M. Keith)
3. Punctuation marks other than periods (in an Eglish Pi mnem. by M.Keith)
4.A 0 after the end of each sentence.
Example:
502 --> "tools! By" (in an English Pi mnemonic by A. Volokh)
About the Greek letter pi in Pi Mnemonics:
It stands either as a 2-letter or as an 1-letter word.
Examples:
(a) I wish I could determine pi (from an English Pi mnemonic)
(b) Wie o! dies (pi) (from a German Pi Mnemonic)
antreas
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Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 10:51:40 -0500
From: Allan Wechsler
Subject: Re: Mnemonics for real numbers automatically [was: Pi Mnemonics]
I suppose dozens of people remember Gardner' column that mentioned
several pi mnemonics. My favorite was a paean to Archimedes that
started:
Now I, even I, would celebrate [3.14159]
In rhymes unapt, the great [26535]
Immortal Syracusan rivaled nevermore [8979]
What do such mnemonics do when they get to the 10^-32 place, where the
first zero pops up? One obvious solution is to use a real Greek pi,
which has zero _English_ letters.
-A
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Date: Sun, 18 Feb 96 14:54:24 -0500
From: Bill Dubuque
Subject: Mnemonics for real numbers automatically [was: Pi Mnemonics]
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 1996 08:55:12 -0500
From: akst@chelsea.ios.com (Geoffrey Akst)
At 7:27 AM 2/18/96, Hatzipolakis Andreas wrote:
>I am collecting pi mnemonics ie. sentences to memorize
>the digits of pi = 3.14159....
Can I have a small container of coffee?
Presumably one could build up a database of mnemonic quotations
for real numbers and integer sequences by generating letter-count
sequences from quotations and then feeding them into recognizer
algorithms for familiar real numbers and integer sequences.
Any guesses as to whether the spectrum of existing familiar
quotations is wide enough to cover the interesting real numbers?
For the Borwein real number recognizer see
http://www.cecm.sfu.ca/projects/ISC/
For Sloane's integer sequence recognizer see
http://netlib.att.com/math/sloane/doc/eistop.html
Quotation databases can be located via
http://www.trg2.saic.com/~jeff/loQtus/homepage.html
e.g. Math Quotations are at
http://math.furman.edu/~mwoodard/mquot.html
-Bill