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Watch this 10-year-old recite hundreds of digits of pi from memory (VIDEO)

Happy International Pi Day!

Ten-year-old Alexander Jin thinks of pie in slices, but when it comes to pi as a mathematical constant, he thinks of it in chunks.

Jin, who goes to Ridgeview Elementary in West Vancouver, stopped by the North Shore News recently to recite several hundred digits of pi in celebration of International Pi Day, which occurs annually on March 14.

“I memorized pi in chunks, every six digits,” explains Jin. “I had an app where you could add groups [of numbers].”

In December, 2019, Jin’s name was added to the Pi World Ranking List after he recited 282 digits of pi in two minutes in front of official witnesses, putting him in the ninth place position in all of Canada and 415th in the world.

The Pi World Ranking List bills itself as the championship for pi, the “ultimate number,” and the task pits people from around the world in a challenging game of memorization.

According to the list, the person who holds the record for reciting the most digits of pi from memory is an individual from India, who recounted 70,030 digits in 17 hours on Oct. 21, 2015.

In Canada, the record was achieved by Chun Wang in 2017, who recalled 8,148 digits of pi in three hours and 40 minutes.

Jin, who has always had a passion for mathematics and numbers, says he decided to take up the task after being given a shirt last year that outlined the first 60 digits of pi.

“I wanted to memorize this whole shirt,” he says.

Since getting his name added to the Pi World Ranking List, he’s been able to bolster his original score of 282 digits, he says. He can now confidently recite more than 300 digits of pi – and he has ambitions to keep going.

“I still want to keep memorizing pi,” he says. “The world record for an 11-year-old is 2,000 …”

Although while reciting the digits of pi he would slow down at times, especially when recounting some of the newer numbers he’d just recently memorized, but he was excited to keep going.

Pi Day was apparently founded in 1988 after physicist Larry Shaw, who worked at the San Francisco Exploratorium museum, organized a celebration involving staff and the public which included eating fruit pies.

Asked what his friends think of his mathematical parlour trick of numbers and memorization, Jin says they’ve been impressed.

“They thought it was really cool.”