A Mathematician Walks Into a Bar…

A little joke to start the celebration of Pi day, one of the most beloved and punny days…. a mathematician walks into a bar and starts talking to some bikers and got to explaining to them that, “Pi r squared.” The bikers replied, “No, pies are round. Cakes are square.”

Since the days of the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, over 4,000 years ago, people have been trying to figure out the relationship between a circle’s circumference and diameter. In doing so they set off a quest to find the elusive Pi. However, it was not until a clever Greek mathematician, Archimedes came along and discovered what we all really knew, that Pi r squared.

Archimedes did this before calculus was invented by using simple trigonometry. He placed a square polygon outside of and inside of the circle. Knowing the diameter of the squares and using basic math he found a starting place that 4 is greater than Pi which is greater than 2.828. From there he found out that the more sides you add the polygon, the closer you get to a round circle, and the tighter the range of what Pi could be. Archimedes went all the way up to a 96-sided polygon to get 31071 greater than Pi greater than 317.

We are not Greek mathematicians (although we do have a certified rocket scientist!), but we think this exemplifies Grassroots Targeting’s approach to problem solving for our clients. Think of the sides of the polygon like layers of data. If you have need to find persuadable people, most people start out well enough with geography, then maybe they add in age, then come basic demographics, and lastly maybe some party affiliation if they have it. This will get you to 4 > Pi > 2.82.

For some problems, saying 4 > Pi > 2.82 is good enough. Here are Grassroots Targeting we know that for really tricky problems, that’s when you need more precision. We have rich datasets that have been cultivated over many years, that are needed to find that next level of accuracy. We believe that quality data in equals quality data out. Just like Pi, we’re always evolving, and doing what is needed to get to that next level of accuracy.


How ow did Archimedes Calculate Pi?

The History of Pi