How to Remember Pi up to 14 Digits

It’s a bit of a secret passion of mine, but I’m kind of a biology geek, particularly the fields of neuroscience and genetics. Memory, the science of creativity, cloning and genetic repair, sleep deprivation, and language acquisition all get my juices flowing.

I’m doing research for a language experiment I’ll be undertaking shortly (learning three languages at once), and  just finished reading “Think Smart: A Neuroscientist’s Prescription for Improving Your Brain’s Performance” by Richard Restak, M.D.. Among the various recommendations, there was a wonderful little pneumonic device used to remember Pi up to 14 decimal places.

The device was conceived by renowned British physicist, astronomer, and mathematician Sir James Jeans. It’s so effective, that it only took me about 4 minutes to memorize Pi to 14 places.

All you have to do is remember the phrase “How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!”

Once you have that down, simply count the number of letters in each word and you’ve got it down: “How” = 3; “I”=1; “want”=4; “a”=1; “drink”=5…

Continue in this fashion until you get to 3.14159265358979

I don’t often need to know Pi, but if nothing else, it’s a great party trick.

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2 Comments on “How to Remember Pi up to 14 Digits”

  1. sampsonmj99 Says:

    3 languages at once huh? which three buddy?

    • danwalsh Says:

      Samps,

      Still doing some research, but right now it looks like Cantonese, Japanese, and Russian. More on that soon.

      -Dan


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