Happy Tau Day, everyone! This was a huge year for $\tau$, with continued adoption in programming languages and classrooms, appearances in a couple of prominent webcomics (xkcd & SMBC), and a big endorsement from Google. I also received an amazing parable about pi and tau from a precocious high-school student—seriously, give it a read.
Here’s a list of some of the highlights since Tau Day 2013:
$\tau$ made an appearance in an installment of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, which proposes “pau” ($1.5\pi$) as a compromise between pi and tau. Be sure to hover over the image to see the bonus joke: “Conveniently approximated as $e+2$, Pau is commonly known as the Devil's Ratio (because in the octal expansion, '666' appears four times in the first 200 digits while no other run of 3+ digits appears more than once).” (UPDATE: An alert reader points to a discussion at explain xkcd that casts some doubt on one of the claims made in the bonus joke.)
$\tau$ made an appearance in an installment of the wildly popular webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC), which features a proud father bragging that his two-year-old child correctly calculated the “pi–tau constant” (i.e., 2). Be sure to click the big red button to see the bonus panel, in which the pi–tau constant appears as the comically obfuscated expression $K_{\pi\mathrm{-}\tau} = \sqrt{\left(e^{\ln (\tau/\pi)}\right)^2}$.
Google’s online calculator added support for $\tau$. For example, watch as Google correctly evaluates sin(τ/8).
Mathbreakers, a 3-D math exploration game, incorporated tau into its game world for teaching radian angle measure. Check out the Rainbow Radians demo video and the Mathbreakers Kickstarter campaign.
The Modula-2 programming language, originally developed by Niklaus Wirth and currently being revised by Benjamin Kowarsch and Rick Sutcliffe, now includes tau in its standard library.
The piClock iPhone & iPad app, which finds the current time inside the digits of mathematical constants, has added a “now with tau” badge and invites you to “double your pi-leasure and take a turn with tau.”
An 18-year-old high-school student from Oxfordshire, England, wrote a clever parody of $\pi$, published here with his permission: A Parable by Oliver Sayeed.
David Taylor of prooffreader.com published the über-nerdy and awesomely numerological post “Pi vs. tau: Ultimate Smackdown”. (Spoiler alert: tau wins.)
Scientific American published the excellent article “Why Tau Trumps Pi” by Randyn Charles Bartholomew. The URL still reveals the original title, “Let’s Use Tau—It’s Easier Than Pi,” and I can’t believe I didn’t think of the tagline “Tau is easier than pi” myself. Brilliant!
I’ve been gratified by the continued enthusiasm for $\tau$ since the launch of The Tau Manifesto in 2010. I especially appreciate the support of Robert Palais, Joseph Lindenberg, Peter Harremoës, Robin Whitty, Vi Hart, and all the tauists who’ve reached out about $\tau$ in the past four years. Here’s to another great year ahead for $\tau$!
—Michael Hartl, Tau Day 2014
It’s been a big year for $\tau$. When I launched The Tau Manifesto back on Tau Day 2010, I hoped that $\tau$ might strike a chord, but its popularity has exceeded my wildest expectations—due in large part to the efforts of the many ardent tauists who picked up $\tau$ and ran with it. Now three years on, activity surrounding both the constant and the notation continues apace. In honor of Tau Day 2013, I’ve listed below some of the highlights from the last year. Enjoy, and Happy Tau Day!
Michael Hartl
Founder, Tau Day
Author, The Tau Manifesto
Note: I’d like to thank Joseph Lindenberg, Robert Palais, Robin Whitty, and Peter Harremoës for their help in compiling this list.