400 Pieces of a Canadian Pi

Isha is a 12-year-old girl living in Maple Ridge, BC, and she’s going to demonstrate something amazing. As she does it, I want you to ask yourself one question: “Why can’t I do the same?”

Do you ever struggle to remember passwords, or cell numbers, or what you ate for dinner yesterday?

Have you ever wondered how top students get the grades that they do?

We’re going to demonstrate something spectacular.

It’s so amazing that we all should be able to do it.

At Meadowridge School in Maple Ridge, BC, in preparation for Pi Day, Isha’s reciting 400 digits of Pi: the irrational number; the number that never ends. Pi so important that it has its own symbol and we’ve spent 2,200 years calculating it. It’s special enough to have its own day – International Pi Day – every March 14th. The digits of pi never settle, never stop and never fall into a repeating pattern.

Isha started learning Pi about a month ago, between school homework and playing on her iPod. She learnt the first 100 digits on a Saturday afternoon. Most people struggle with a 7-digit phone number.

So how’s she doing it?

“Memory is the treasury and guardian of all truth” – Cicero

Everyone wants a good memory. A good memory means you can ace your exams, it means answers don’t get stuck on the tip of your tongue, it means you don’t have to waste ten minutes of every day figuring out where you put your phone.

Paradoxically, in a world with excess information, memory is your edge. In a world where people can travel anywhere to go to university, and move city for a job, competition is high. Everyone wants an edge.

And wouldn’t it be nice to have an incredible memory?

Here’s the twist: the real amazing fact: you already have an incredible ability to remember information. Most people just don’t know how to use their perfect recall skills. You could do what Isha’s doing.

As she’s reciting numbers, Isha is on a journey. A journey where she converts the numbers into something more meaningful. She is travelling across places in her memory, making stories and converting the images back to numbers when needed. And look at what’s achieved – 400 pieces of pi!

My name’s Kavita, I’m Isha’s 18-year-old sister, and I’m the founder of The Dau Academy, a Vancouver start-up which helps students radically improve their memories. It’s the Dau Academy Method that Isha used to learn her 400 numbers.

Watch Isha recite all 400 digits, and as you watch remember: anyone can learn how to do this.

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