On following the work of Steven H. Strogatz…

Steven Strogatz

Steven H. Strogatz of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Articles: Why Pi Matters
BooksThe Joy of x (Mariner, 2013), Infinite Powers (Houghton-Mifflin, 2019)
Homepage(s): Cornell, CV -2019 Joy of Why Podcast (2022 article), Google Scholar, Twitter, Wikipedia

References within pages on this website:
List of scholars, Strogatz on the Fourier Transform, Nexus of Transformation (August 2, 2019), Pi is fundamental to everything, Cubic Close Packing (ccp), Pi Day is 3.14… March 14, Deeper Matters

Most recent email: 2 March 2023

My idiosyncratic views, in part opened up by your 2015 article on the Fourier, are getting stranger and stranger: https://81018.com/pointing/

It eventually opened many new ways to engage a very old group: FourierPoincaréGaussPlanck, Einstein, Smale, Milnor, and so many others. So, I’ll be looking for your most current Pi Day contribution. The subheading of mine is: Pi Day’s puzzles point beyond circles and spheres. The heading is What do we know?

Again, I thank you for all that you do!  -Bruce

Eighth email: Friday, August 12, 2022, 1:23 PM

Without question you are one of the favorite intellects of the country and I would dare say of the world. You surely are for me. I am eternally grateful for eating some of the most delicious pi ever from your bakery.

Now, your David Tong interview was brilliant. To take the next step, I recommend eating more of your pi.

Two new references: https://81018.com/fourier/  Your joy: https://81018.com/2015/12/19/strogatz/

Of course, I know you get altogether too much email and you have your cadre of followers, students, pre-docs, and post-docs, and, and, and. Please, I don’t expect a reply.


Seventh email: 21 March 2022 at 1:17 PM

I went looking for your Pi Day article and found your Joy of Why podcast with Quanta magazine. Fantastic. I’ll try to remember to give it a tease on our homepage the day before you go live!  

I still think you should have a Zoom conference for the masses on Pi Day. Remember how last month I had said in my note to Brigid Danziger of MathGiraffe.com, “He (YOU) should have one huge Pi Day Zoom class for us all. Each hour could go from easy to more difficult.”  I would think Quanta would do it in a heartbeat.

BTW, I now maintain two pages about Steven Strogatz: https://81018.com/strogatz/ and https://81018.com/2015/12/19/strogatz/ (the original).

Again, congratulations on your latest rendition of the podcasts with Quanta.

Best wishes always,


PS. Our base-2 container may well encapsulate all your work but it changes nothing about the work per se. It just opens a larger interpretation because time’s asymmetry is only within the current notation (202) and sleep is a natural compiler for one’s own internal symmetry…. yes, I’ll work on it!  -BEC 

Sixth email: February 13, 2022 at 2:27 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. Steven Strogatz:

I look forward to your 3.14 article to inspire us all to think more integratively. I think people like Brigid Danziger of MathGiraffe.com are sensational, too. She’s doing for middle-and-high school teachers what you do for undergraduates, graduates, post-docs, professors and the public (people like me). 

I recently said this to her: “Geometry is dynamic. We do not learn enough about pi, spheres, and symmetries. The current pi celebrations are often silly and it all needs to be ratcheted up each March 14.”

“A student’s first engagement should be with Steven Stogatz of Cornell: https://81018.com/strogatz/ His Pi Day articles are mostly within the New York Times and the New Yorker. His books are sensational. He should have one huge Pi Day Zoom class for us all. Each hour it could go from easy to more difficult. His work on the Fourier transform and pi is transformative — https://81018.com/fourier/ — and empowering.”

“He brings images like this on cubic-close packing alive: https://81018.com/ccp/

I thought you might enjoy seeing what I’ve been saying about you (obviously a groupie)!

Best wishes,


Fifth email: Friday, 12 March 2021

You might appreciate the audacity: https://81018.com/challenge/

Are you published this year regarding pi?

Thanks. -Bruce

Fourth email: Friday, 5 April 2019

Of three related articles, today’s has a reference to your work and a link
to this page with even more references to your work:
https://81018.com/2015/12/19/strogatz/ (this page)

These are the three related articles:
https://81018.com/e8/ (April 5, 2019 https://81018.com/e8/#SHS )
https://81018.com/maybe/ (Wednesday, April 3, 2019)
https://81018.com/standard_model/ (Tuesday, April 2, 2019)

At some point in time, the evidence will become
compelling enough, our scholarly community may begin to address it;
and at that time, perhaps Wheeler’s comments will become true:
“Behind it all is surely an idea so simple, so beautiful, that
when we grasp it — in a decade, a century, or a millennium —
we will all say to each other, how could it have been otherwise?”


Best wishes always,
See: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/14/science/pi-math-geometry-infinity.html

Third email: Friday, March 1, 2019

RE: Why Pi Matters, The New Yorker, March 13, 2015

Dear Prof. Dr. Steven Strogatz:

Out of your article, seemingly written with just a little impatience for the contrivance or forced-fit, Pi-to-Pi Day, you so brilliantly empowered learning about the Fourier series and for that I am most grateful.

On our bulletin board is a clip out of that article (attached). Beside it are three related dynamic images from our researching the generation of the sine and cosine waves.

Thanks again for all your work and inspiration.


PS. Posted on the bulletin board: Excerpt from Why Pi Matters, and three dynamic images. We have to go full circle, inside and out, to begin to understand the dynamics of strings.

FourierCircles and Spheres
Second email: Friday, December 18, 2015

Dear Prof. Dr. Steven Strogatz:

Congratulations on all you do.* Just wonderful.

My late-in-life exploratory was a result of helping a nephew with his high school geometry classes. We were charting the Planck base units to their natural limits using base-2. It’s been fascinating. http://81018.com

Thanks again for your scholarship. Most helpful.

Most sincerely,
Bruce Camber

*Of course, your book, The Joy of x (linked above), is everybody’s favorite.

First email: December 1, 2014

Dear Prof. Dr. Steven Strogatz-

I had been reading about you and I just tweeted:
“@stevenstrogatz Why not start with the most simple? …Planck Length?
Though an infinitesimal length, just double it and each result 202 times and we are out to the approximate size of the universe.”

I like your spirit and the way you write about math and life.

Now, it seems impossible, but applying base-2 exponential notation to the Planck base units, there are 101 notations to the width of a typical hair (103 to the human egg), and then another 101 or so to the approximate size of the Observable Universe. Kees Boeke did something like it in 1957 using base-10 in what he thought were 40 jumps (his book, Cosmic ViewWikipedia).

There’s something going on here. And, given you are an open person with all the cards on the table, face up, it would be great to hear your thoughts:  https://81018.com/order/

If there is any merit here, might we talk a little about it? Thanks.

Most sincerely,