Mathematicians and others gather to celebrate Pi Day

Most things come and go, but pi, for many, is forever

Pi day adds up to ‘a way to celebrate geekiness’

2007 19th Annual Pi Day Celebration Page

Math Forum: Ask Dr. Math About Pi

The Digits of Pi

This Wednesday, those persons dedicated to the world of pi gathered in conference venues, living rooms, and other locales to pay homage to that humble (yet important) number that defines the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It happened to be Pi Day, or March 14th, which is the closest calendar approximation of 3.14 (or 3/14). The exact origins of Pi Day are lost in the misty haze of the late 1980s, but the Exploratorium in San Francisco first began its annual celebration of the event in 1987. The date also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday, so often there are joint celebrations on this auspicious day. The events of Pi Day usually involve recitation contests to see who can memorize pi to the most places, pie-eating contests (insert homonym joke here), and the sharing of haikus that feature pi in some fashion. Speaking about the events at the University of Alberta, Marcel Ball remarked, “It’s just a way to celebrate our geekiness.” Others have found a different type of communion with pi, such as Akira Harguchi, a mental-health counselor in Japan, who noted, “What I am aiming at is not just memorizing figures. I am thrilled by seeking a story in pi.” [KMG]

The first link will take users to a news article from this Monday’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer which provides a bit of background information on Pi Day. The second link will take users to a piece from the Ottawa Citizen that gives information on how March 14th is celebrated across Canada. Moving along, the third link leads to the Exploratorium’s Pi Day Page, which includes a number of fun activities, including a primer on cutting pi by way of string, scissors, and tape. The fourth link leads to the official Pi Day website, which features e-cards, a calendar of events, and discussion boards that include “I Love Pi Because…” The fifth link whisks users away to the Math Forum at Drexel University’s “About Pi” area, which answers a number of questions, such as “What is pi?” and “What is it for?” Finally, the last link contains the first ten thousand digits of pi. [KMG]


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