A History of Pi
|A History of Pi|
|Subject(s)||Mathematics, General Sciences|
|Publisher||St. Martin's Press|
|Part of a series of articles on the|
|mathematical constant π|
Beckmann was a Czechoslovakian who fled the Communist regime to come to the United States. His dislike of authority gives A History of Pi a style that belies its dry title. For example, his chapter on the era following the classical age of ancient Greece is titled "The Roman Pest"; he calls the Catholic Inquisition the act of "insane religious fanatic"; and he says that people who question public spending on scientific research are "intellectual cripples who drivel about 'too much technology' because technology has wounded them with the ultimate insult: 'They can't understand it any more.'"
Beckmann was a prolific scientific author who wrote several electrical engineering textbooks and non-technical works, founded Golem Press, which published most of his books, and published his own monthly newsletter, Access to Energy. He wrote more than 60 scientific papers and eight technical books.
A History of Pi is divided into 18 chapters.
- The Belt
- The Early Greeks
- The Roman Pest
- Archimedes of Syracuse
- The Digit Hunters
- The Last Archimedeans
- Prelude to Breakthrough
- The Monte Carlo Method
- The Transcendence of π
- The Modern Circle Squarers
- The Computer Age
See also 
- The book was originally published as A History of π in 1971 by Golem Press. It was published as A History of Pi in 1976 by St. Martin's Press. It was published as A History of Pi by Marlboro Books in 1990 ("A History of PI by Petr Beckmann ", GoodReads). The title is given as A History of Pi by both Amazon and by WorldCat.
- Drum, Kevin,"A History of Pi, by Petr Beckman"
- Thoreau, Book Recommendation: A History of Pi
- Review by H. W. Gould, Math. of Computation, 28(1974), 325-327