Happy Pi Day!

Pi Day – the annual celebration of the mathematical constant – conveniently timed to match the birthday of one, Albert Einstein no less.

Today is an extra auspicious moment since it is the once in a century Rounded Up Pi Day; when the month, day and year are Pi – correct to four decimal places.

Rounded up to four it is 3.1416. And today is 3/14/16. Woop Woop! For the extra clever there is also “Pi Approximation Day” later on the year – which is observed on July 22nd or 22/7 – you get it? :).

The History:

Today represents the 28th official World Pi Day – started way back in 1988 by San Franciscan and physicist, Larry Shaw: It was actually originally celebrated by – marching around in circles (hilarious) then consuming fruit pies (delicious)! You can learn more about their party here: http://www.exploratorium.edu/pi/

By 2009 the US House of representatives had officially passed a non-binding resolution for it to be officially established as noted day. As such, MIT often mail their application decision letters on this day and starting in 2012 post the decision online at exactly 6:28PM – which they have termed “Tau time” to honor both Tau and Pai in equal measure. And Princeton (where Einstein was alumni) also host a very special party to celebrate both him and the special mathematical day: http://www.pidayprinceton.com/

What is Pi?

Archimedes is credited with doing the first calculation of Pi, while British mathematician William Jones developed the Greek letter for the symbol in around 1706 – and was popularized by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler around 1736.

Pi has been calculated out to over 1 trillion digits – as an irrational and transcendental number. It will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.

But How Can I Celebrate?

Well you can celebrated Pi Day in pretty much anyway aslong as it involved cakes or cookies.

By cakes we mean cake baking, eating and throwing…

We also like puns so trying to fit in as many puns based on the word Pi as you can in one day.

Ryan Muir, a teacher in Shanghai, at Concordia International School Shanghai uses this day to educate his students about the wonderful world of Pi, and show them that students can have fun with Math. They write songs about pi, write piems (see what happened there – I am getting in the mood), see who can get closest to pi by measuring the ratio of circumference to diameter in cookies and pizzas, compete against each other in the JPL Nasa Pi Day challenge, and of course eat lots of Pie!


Eat Pi foods – Eating Pi foods may be the easiest and most fun way to celebrate Pi. If you’re in school, everyone can bring in a pi-themed food or pi pot luck. Eat any types of pie. You can expect to see some offers for $3.14 slices.

Put the symbol on some cookies and bake your own.

Embrace the puns – Eating Pineapple, pizzas and pine nuts while drinking Pina coladas.

Remember you aren’t limited to desserts. Chicken and Shepherd’s pie are equally delicious.

Mental Floss Have a Great Article on Pis here: http://mentalfloss.com/article/74554/10-pies-enjoy-pi-day

Convert everything into Pi.

This step is absolutely necessary for two reasons: first, to utterly confuse people who have no idea what you're talking about, and secondly, to have fun seeing how many things can be referenced with pi. This will help you reach an even higher appreciation for the amazing number that is pi.

Use pi to tell the time. Convert naturally circular things into radians, like the hours on the clock. Instead of it being 3 o'clock, now it's 1/2 pi o'clock. Or, instead of it being 3 o'clock, convert the inclination of the sun into radians and describe that as the time.

Simply use 3.14 as a unit of measure. Instead of being 31 years old, you are 9pi years old. With this same approach, you can find out your next pi birthday (don't forget to celebrate it when it comes!).

March 14, 2016 by Sean Allan
Older Post / Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.