Thanks to Steve Barker for pointing us towards this interesting article. – Deskarati
After thousands of years of trying, mathematicians are still working out the number known as pi or “π”. We typically think of pi as approximately 3.14 but the most successful attempt to calculate it more precisely worked out its value to over 13 trillion digits after the decimal point. We have known since the 18th century that we will never be able to calculate all the digits of pi because it is an irrational number, one that continues forever without any repeating pattern.
In 1888, the logician John Venn, who also invented the Venn diagram, attempted to visually show that the digits of pi were random by drawing a graph showing the first 707 decimal places. He assigned a compass point to the digits 0 to 7 and then drew lines to show the path indicated by each digit.
Venn did this work using pen and paper but this is still used today with modern technology to create even more detailed and beautiful patterns.
But, despite the endless string of unpredictable digits that make up pi, it’s not what we call a truly random number. And it actually contains all sorts of surprising patterns.