## Florian Born

I am an Interaction Designer working between media arts and media design. I graduated from the digital media program at the Univesity of the Arts in Bremen with a Bachelor of Arts. Now I study Visual Communication at The University of the Arts Berlin in the new media class. I am interested in connecting the virtual with the physical world, working with new Technologies or the field of creative coding.

## Florian Born — Mechanical Pi — In memory of William Shanks

### Techno Legacy — Summer 2014

The mathematician William Shanks sacrificed years of his spare time to the decimal expansion of the irrational number pi by hand. In 1873 he published his handwritten calculations to the 707th digit. Much to his regret, in 1945, D.F. Ferguson proved that only the first 527 decimal places have been calculated correctly. Nowadays Shanks tedious manual task is done with the help of computer algebra, performing millions of steps in fragments of a second, while calculating billions of decimal places. Mechanical PI is a computing machine replacing this repetitive algorithm back into a physical, mechanical language. A constant rotation, pressing and repeating the calculator’s keys, approaching the number Pi, yet never reaching it …

The machine utilizes the Leibniz formula for pi which is an infinite series of additions and subtractions of quotients. Each subsequent denominator in this series is the sum of the previous one plus two, starting with the value one. With this being the only variable expression and the possibility to store values in the calculators memory, the formula can be expressed as a repetitive keystroke combination activated by circular motion.

In collaboration with David Friedrich.