Mnemonics for Pi

pi symbol and digits

How many digits of pi can you remember?

A mnemonic is a way of helping you to remember something, it could be a rhyme or a phrase.

This phrase could help you to remember the first few digits of pi:

‘May I have a large container of coffee?’

Can you see how it works? 

Can you invent a phrase of your own?

You might also like to take a look at this: Remembering pi – a memory mini From BBC Scotland. (Requires Flash Player)

I find it hard to remember more than the first few digits of pi, but some people can remember an amazing amount. In July 2005, Akira Haraguchi managed to recite the first 83,431 digits of pi. Wow!


Image credit:

The image of pi and its digits by Lois Lindemann are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. You can download a higher resolution version here (PNG format).

1 comment to Mnemonics for Pi

  • Bridie

    A Poem

    A Raven

    Midnights so dreary, tired and weary,
    Silently pondering volumes extolling all by-now obsolete lore.
    During my rather long nap – the weirdest tap!
    An ominous vibrating sound disturbing my chamber’s antedoor.
    “This”, I whispered quietly, “I ignore”.

    Perfectly, the intellect remembers: the ghostly fires, a glittering ember.
    Inflamed by lightning’s outbursts, windows cast penumbras upon this floor.
    Sorrowful, as one mistreated, unhappy thoughts I heeded:
    That inimitable lesson in elegance – Lenore –
    Is delighting, exciting…nevermore.

    Ominously, curtains parted (my serenity outsmarted),
    And fear overcame my being – the fear of “forevermore”.
    Fearful foreboding abided, selfish sentiment confided,
    As I said, “Methinks mysterious traveler knocks afore.
    A man is visiting, of age threescore.”

    Taking little time, briskly addressing something: “Sir,” (robustly)
    “Tell what source originates clamorous noise afore?
    Disturbing sleep unkindly, is it you a-tapping, so slyly?
    Why, devil incarnate!–” Here completely unveiled I my antedoor–
    Just darkness, I ascertained – nothing more.

    While surrounded by darkness then, I persevered to clearly comprehend.
    I perceived the weirdest dream…of everlasting “nevermores”.
    Quite, quite, quick nocturnal doubts fled – such relief! – as my intellect said,
    (Desiring, imagining still) that perchance the apparition was uttering a whispered “Lenore”.
    This only, as evermore.

    Silently, I reinforced, remaining anxious, quite scared, afraid,
    While intrusive tap did then come thrice – O, so stronger than sounded afore.
    “Surely” (said silently) “it was the banging, clanging window lattice.”
    Glancing out, I quaked, upset by horrors hereinbefore,
    Perceiving: a “nevermore”.

    Completely disturbed, I said, “Utter, please, what prevails ahead.
    Repose, relief, cessation, or but more dreary ‘nevermores’?”
    The bird intruded thence – O, irritation ever since! –
    Then sat on Pallas’ pallid bust, watching me (I sat not, therefore),
    And stated “nevermores”.

    Bemused by raven’s dissonance, my soul exclaimed, “I seek intelligence;
    Explain thy purpose, or soon cease intoning forlorn ‘nevermores’!”
    “Nevermores”, winged corvus proclaimed – thusly was a raven named?
    Actually maintain a surname, upon Pluvious seashore?
    I heard an oppressive “nevermore”.

    My sentiments extremely pained, to perceive an utterance so plain,
    Most interested, mystified, a meaning I hoped for.
    “Surely,” said the raven’s watcher, “separate discourse is wiser.
    Therefore, liberation I’ll obtain, retreating heretofore –
    Eliminating all the ‘nevermores’ “.

    Still, the detestable raven just remained, unmoving, on sculptured bust.
    Always saying “never” (by a red chamber’s door).
    A poor, tender heartache maven – a sorrowful bird – a raven!
    O, I wished thoroughly, forthwith, that he’d fly heretofore.
    Still sitting, he recited “nevermores”.

    The raven’s dirge induced alarm – “nevermore” quite wearisome.
    I meditated: “Might its utterances summarize of a calamity before?”
    O, a sadness was manifest – a sorrowful cry of unrest;
    “O,” I thought sincerely, “it’s a melancholy great – furthermore,
    Removing doubt, this explains ‘nevermores’ “.

    Seizing just that moment to sit – closely, carefully, advancing beside it,
    Sinking down, intrigued, where velvet cushion lay afore.
    A creature, midnight-black, watched there – it studied my soul, unawares.
    Wherefore, explanations my insight entreated for.
    Silently, I pondered the “nevermores”.

    “Disentangle, nefarious bird! Disengage – I am disturbed!”
    Intently its eye burned, raising the cry within my core.
    “That delectable Lenore – whose velvet pillow this was, heretofore,
    Departed thence, unsettling my consciousness therefore.
    She’s returning – that maiden – aye, nevermore.”

    Since, to me, that thought was madness, I renounced continuing sadness.
    Continuing on, I soundly, adamantly forswore:
    “Wretch,” (addressing blackbird only) “fly swiftly – emancipate me!”
    “Respite, respite, detestable raven – and discharge me, I implore!”
    A ghostly answer of: “nevermore”.

    ” ‘Tis a prophet? Wraith? Strange devil? Or the ultimate evil?”
    “Answer, tempter-sent creature!”, I inquired, like before.
    “Forlorn, though firmly undaunted, with ‘nevermores’ quite indoctrinated,
    Is everything depressing, generating great sorrow evermore?
    I am subdued!”, I then swore.

    In answer, the raven turned – relentless distress it spurned.
    “Comfort, surcease, quiet, silence!” – pleaded I for.
    “Will my (abusive raven!) sorrows persist unabated?
    Nevermore Lenore respondeth?”, adamantly I encored.
    The appeal was ignored.

    “O, satanic inferno’s denizen — go!”, I said boldly, standing then.
    “Take henceforth loathsome “nevermores” – O, to an ugly Plutonian shore!
    Let nary one expression, O bird, remain still here, replacing mirth.
    Promptly leave and retreat!”, I resolutely swore.
    Blackbird’s riposte: “nevermore”.

    So he sitteth, observing always, perching ominously on these doorways.
    Squatting on the stony bust so untroubled, O therefore.
    Suffering stark raven’s conversings, so I am condemned, subserving,
    To a nightmare cursed, containing miseries galore.
    Thus henceforth, I’ll rise (from a darkness, a grave) — nevermore!

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