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# pi: fun

In Silico Flurries: Computing a world of snow. Scientific American. 23 December 2017

# visualization + design

The 2018 Pi Day art celebrates the 30th anniversary of $\pi$ day and connects friends stitching road maps from around the world. Pack a sandwich and let's go!

# The art of Pi ($\pi$), Phi ($\phi$) and $e$

2018 $\pi$ day shrinks the world and celebrates road trips by stitching streets from around the world together. In this version, we look at the boonies, burbs and boutique of $\pi$ by drawing progressively denser patches of streets. Let's go places.
2017 $\pi$ day
2016 $\pi$ approximation day
2016 $\pi$ day
2015 $\pi$ day
2014 $\pi$ approx day
2014 $\pi$ day
2013 $\pi$ day
Circular $\pi$ art

Numbers are a lot of fun. They can start conversations—the interesting number paradox is a party favourite: every number must be interesting because the first number that wasn't would be very interesting! Of course, in the wrong company they can just as easily end conversations.

The art here is my attempt at transforming famous numbers in mathematics into pretty visual forms, start some of these conversations and awaken emotions for mathematics—other than dislike and confusion

Like music with numbers? Try Angels at My Door (Una), Pt vs Ys (Yoshinori Sunahara), 2wicky (Hooverphonic), One (Aimee Mann), Straight to Number One (Touch and Go), 99 luftbaloons (Nena).

Numerology is bogus, but art based on numbers can be beautiful. Proclus got it right when he said (as quoted by M. Kline in Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times)

Wherever there is number, there is beauty.

2,258 digits of $\phi$, 3,855 digits of $e$ and 3,628 digits of $\pi$ in 6 level treemaps. Uniform line thickness. Bauhaus prime colors in Piet Mondrian style. (2015 $\pi$ day posters, BUY ARTWORK)
All art posters are available for purchase.
I take custom requests.

## the numbers π, φ and e

The consequence of the interesting number paradox is that all numbers are interesting. But some are more interesting than others—how Orwellian!

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
—George Orwell (Animal Farm)

Numbers such as $\pi$ (or $\tau$ if you're a revolutionary), $\phi$, $e$, $i = \sqrt{-1}$, and $0$ have captivated imagination. Chances are at least one of them appears in the next physics equation you come across.

$π φ e$
$= 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 ... = 1.61803 39887 49894 84820 45868 34365 63811 77203 09179 ... = 2.71828 18284 59045 23536 02874 71352 66249 77572 47093 ...$

Of these three transcendental numbers, $\pi$ (3.14159265...) is the most well known. It is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter ($d = \pi r$) and appears in the formula for the area of the circle ($a = \pi r^2$).

2,258 digits of $\phi$, 3,855 digits of $e$ and 3,628 digits of $\pi$ in 6 level treemaps. Uniform line thickness. Bauhaus prime colors in Piet Mondrian style. (2016 $\pi$ day posters, BUY ARTWORK)

The Golden Ratio ($\phi$, 1.61803398...) is the attractive proportion of values $a > b$ that satisfy ${a+b}/2 = a/b$, which solves to $a/b = {1 + \sqrt{5}}/2$.

The last of the three numbers, $e$ (2.71828182...) is Euler's number and also known as the base of the natural logarithm. It, too, can be defined geometrically—it is the unique real number, $e$, for which the function $f(x) = e^x$ has a tangent of slope 1 at $x=0$. Like $\pi$, $e$ appears throughout mathematics. For example, $e$ is central in the expression for the normal distribution as well as the definition of entropy. And if you've ever heard of someone talking about log plots ... well, there's $e$ again!

Two of these numbers can be seen together in mathematics' most beautiful equation, the Euler identity: $e^{i\pi} = -1$. The tau-oists would argue that this is even prettier: $e^{i\tau} = 1$.

## accidentally similar

Did you notice how the 13th digit of all three numbers is the same (9)? This accidental similarity generates its own number—the Accidental Similarity Number (ASN).

VIEW ALL

# Tree of Emotional Life

Sun 17-02-2019

One moment you're $:)$ and the next you're $:-.$

Make sense of it all with my Tree of Emotional life—a hierarchical account of how we feel.

A section of the Tree of Emotional Life.

# Find and snap to colors in an image

Sat 29-12-2018

One of my color tools, the $colorsnap$ application snaps colors in an image to a set of reference colors and reports their proportion.

Below is Times Square rendered using the colors of the MTA subway lines.

Colors used by the New York MTA subway lines.

Times Square in New York City.
Times Square in New York City rendered using colors of the MTA subway lines.
Granger rainbow snapped to subway lines colors from four cities. (zoom)

# Take your medicine ... now

Wed 19-12-2018

Drugs could be more effective if taken when the genetic proteins they target are most active.

Design tip: rediscover CMYK primaries.

More of my American Scientific Graphic Science designs

Ruben et al. A database of tissue-specific rhythmically expressed human genes has potential applications in circadian medicine Science Translational Medicine 10 Issue 458, eaat8806.

# Predicting with confidence and tolerance

Wed 07-11-2018
I abhor averages. I like the individual case. —J.D. Brandeis.

We focus on the important distinction between confidence intervals, typically used to express uncertainty of a sampling statistic such as the mean and, prediction and tolerance intervals, used to make statements about the next value to be drawn from the population.

Confidence intervals provide coverage of a single point—the population mean—with the assurance that the probability of non-coverage is some acceptable value (e.g. 0.05). On the other hand, prediction and tolerance intervals both give information about typical values from the population and the percentage of the population expected to be in the interval. For example, a tolerance interval can be configured to tell us what fraction of sampled values (e.g. 95%) will fall into an interval some fraction of the time (e.g. 95%).

Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Predicting with confidence and tolerance. (read)

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2018) Points of significance: Predicting with confidence and tolerance Nature Methods 15:843–844.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2013) Points of significance: Importance of being uncertain. Nature Methods 10:809–810.

# 4-day Circos course

Wed 31-10-2018

A 4-day introductory course on genome data parsing and visualization using Circos. Prepared for the Bioinformatics and Genome Analysis course in Institut Pasteur Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia.

Composite of the kinds of images you will learn to make in this course.

# Oryza longistaminata genome cake

Mon 24-09-2018

Data visualization should be informative and, where possible, tasty.

Stefan Reuscher from Bioscience and Biotechnology Center at Nagoya University celebrates a publication with a Circos cake.

The cake shows an overview of a de-novo assembled genome of a wild rice species Oryza longistaminata.

Circos cake celebrating Reuscher et al. 2018 publication of the Oryza longistaminata genome.