What is Pi Day?
Here is how it is described in Wikipedia – Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the U.S. month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.
Since Mathnasium of Cherry Hill isn’t open on the Fridays, we celebrated Pi Day one day early, but the children didn’t seem to mind!
You may be asking, “what is Pi?” The Scientific American website defines it as:
Succinctly, pi–which is written as the Greek letter for p, or –is the ratio of the circumference of any circle to the diameter of that circle. Regardless of the circle’s size, this ratio will always equal pi. In decimal form, the value of pi is approximately 3.14. But pi is an irrational number, meaning that its decimal form neither ends (like 1/4 = 0.25) nor becomes repetitive (like 1/6 = 0.166666…). (To only 18 decimal places, pi is 3.141592653589793238.) Hence, it is useful to have shorthand for this ratio of circumference to diameter. According to Petr Beckmann’s A History of Pi, the Greek letter was first used for this purpose by William Jones in 1706, probably as an abbreviation of periphery, and became standard mathematical notation roughly 30 years later.
You can see their whole article by clicking here.
So while we mathematicians love celebrating numbers, we also love playing with words and having some tasty food while doing it!
Here’s hoping you have a great Pi Day!