Celebrating Pi Day
- Mar 09, 2015
For Marc Umile, a Medicare biller, the day starts on a different note. The meditation routine isn't the one you are generally accustomed to. The deep breaths are accompanied by a quick paced recounting of “3.14159265358979...”, which the world knows as 'pi'. And it does not end there. The shower, the drive to work and the walk down the street are also witness to this prodigy.
However scary Math might seem to most students, pi isn't. And this is evident in the widespread revelry on Pi Day. For those who are oblivious of this, Pi Day is celebrated on the 14th of March in accordance with the the first three digits of the Greek symbol, denoting the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
Pi Day dates back to 1988 when Larry Shaw, a physicist at the San Francisco Exploratorium marched with the staff around one of the circular spaces of the exploratorium and ended the procession by consuming fruit pies. It, then turned out to be a public extravaganza with a non-binding resolution being passed by the U.S. House of Representative marking March 14 as the National Pi Day.
Celebrating Pi Day with the big names
Pi Day is an opportunity to promote Mathematics awareness among students and to remind them that Mathematics is not restricted to school curriculum only, but is used everyday by real people in the real world, from engineers to journalists.
San Francisco Exploratorium
The San Francisco Exploratorium is witness to an extravagant “Pi procession” on 14th March every year. The attendees get a number between 0 to 9 and they line up in order of the digits of 'pi'. The procession ends at the “pi shrine”, which is a pi symbol on the sidewalk with digits around it. The Exploratorium also hosts a Second Life Pi Day event for those who cannot attend the celebration in person.
The celebration for Pi Day at Princeton, New Jersey kicks off at as early as 7 in the morning. This year the events include 'Walk a Pi event', a pie eating contest, a few celebrations in memory of Albert Einstein, since Pi Day coincides with Einstein's birthday. Other events include a cello orchestra, violin exhibition, KENKEN lecture and demo, a fitness concert, pi recitation contest, a pie throwing event, a Pizza Pi competition and so much more. Sounds fun, right?
A few years back, this 93 year old aerospace and defense giant delivered hundreds of apple pies to Math and Science teachers of middle and high schools located within a 3.14 mile radius of its offices across the country. Last year, Raytheon came up with a different idea to make a statement about the importance of Science and Mathematics. They assembled more than 100 of the nation's brightest Math prodigies into the symbol 'pi' at the Wentworth Institute of Technology at Boston.
Salvador Dali Museum, Florida
Did you know that Salvador Dali loved the irrational numbers 'pi' and 'phi'? Not just that, he used to incorporate mathematical principles in his art as well. The Salvador Dali Museum in Florida celebrates Pi Day with an event schedule comprising Math-inspired films and tours throughout the day.
Recommended Read: Top TED talks on Math
A few ideas for you to celebrate Pi Day
Pi is more than Math, it is an internet sensation. The world loves pi because it is a never-ending, irrational number and this gives way for a challenge of calculating it to our heart's content. Here are a few ideas for your Pi Day celebrations:
- The most common thing to do on Pi Day is sharing a pie (apple pie, most commonly). If you are in the mood to bake, you can frost a pi symbol on your cupcakes or cookies.
- It is also quite common to celebrate pi at 1:59 PM on Pi Day since it forms a continuation of the digits of pi.
- A Math quiz would also be a fun way to celebrate Pi Day. A pi memorization recitation contest is quite common too.
- You can convert circular things into radians, like the hours on a clock. A 3 o'clock would be a ½ pi o'clock and so on.
The only Pi Day of our lives
Pi Day is extra special this year, since the date coincides with a total of 6 digits of pi. And we are quite unlikely to survive till the next pi perfection of the calendar, which would occur on 2115. Therefore, this year's Pi Day at 9:26:53 AM would be the epitome of pi perfection of our lives. Be sure to make it worthy of pi.
The celebration of Pi Day has gained momentum because the world is hungry to make Math and Science interesting for every student. And Pi Day is just another way to boost this enthusiasm. The record for the number of digits of pi stands proudly at 10 trillion. Are you game?
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