# The Time Indiana Tried to Change Pi to 3.2

Did you hear the one about the state that tried to make pi equal to 3.2 -by law? It's not a joke. It happened in Indiana in 1897.

It can't be done, but you don't have to be a math whiz to be a state legislator. Besides, Goodwin had his reasons for pushing the bill to redefine pi. Read all about that strange episode at mental_floss. Link

The story of the “Indiana pi bill” starts with Edward J. Goodwin, a Solitude, Indiana, physician who spent his free time dabbling in mathematics. Goodwin’s pet obsession was an old problem known as squaring the circle. Since ancient times, mathematicians had theorized that there must be some way to calculate the area of circle using only a compass and a straightedge. Mathematicians thought that with the help of these tools, they could construct a square that had the exact same area as the circle. Then all one would need to do to find the area of the circle was calculate the area of the square, a simple task.

It can't be done, but you don't have to be a math whiz to be a state legislator. Besides, Goodwin had his reasons for pushing the bill to redefine pi. Read all about that strange episode at mental_floss. Link

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