March 14th honors the mathematical constant and irrational Pi equation. Pi Day is happening on Wednesday and it’s a fun celebration!
What Is Pi?
Pi is an approximation represented by the numbers 3.14. This three-digit number is shortened from the exact decimal expansion of 3.1415.
The definition of Pi is the total distance around a “perfect” circle – or the unique circumference of that circle, which is divided by the total distance across it.
Many may refer to it, simply, as the diameter of a circle.
Pi is also used to calculate the total area of a circle, the volume of a sphere, and also used within several other types of mathematical-based formulas.
The Most Popular Irrational Number
Pi is considered to be one of the oldest, yet the most recognizable, of all mathematical-based constants in the world.
Noted as the ratio of any circle’s overall circumference to its total diameter, the value is only approximately equal to the numeric expression of 3.14159265.
This is identified by mathematicians as an irrational number.
In short, it means that it cannot be truly expressed as a ratio using whole numbers, and that the representation of the Pi expression never ends, nor does it repeat.
The digits of this expression continue on for infinity, without any identifiable pattern.
Pi Day In the Beginning
The very first Pi Day was in 1988. It was established at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco. An employee of the museum, Larry Shaw worked in the electronics division as a physicist.
2018 marks the 31st annual celebration.
Shaw not only saw it as a means of celebrating the irrational number, but honoring Albert Einstein, who was born on March 14th.
Mr. Shaw wanted to unite the staff of the museum and did so with immense success.
The first Pi Day consisted of the consumption of fruit pies, a small parade around the museum, and concluded at the “accumulation point”, which was later named “Pi Shrine”.
Official National Holiday
The concept of Pi Day was well-received and grew in popularity. In fact, just 11 short years after the first celebration, Pi Day was recognized by the government. They named it an official US holiday in 2009.
Larry Shaw was thrilled and was affectionately identified as the “Prince of Pi”.
Each year, he led the Pi Day parades at the place where it all started – the San Francisco Exploratorium – until he passed away in the 2017. Today, the celebration of the irrational number continues each year with a parade, an immense amount of pies, numerous pi and pie activities, as well as recognition of Albert Einstein.
Do you have an appreciation for mathematics and the sciences? Join in on the Pi Day celebrations! There are many different ways to honor the irrational number, the circle, and even Albert Einstein on March 14th:
- Hold discussions and events that outline the significance of Pi and its overall impact on the world.
- Given that the word “Pi” is a homophone of the word “pie”, incorporate yummy pies into your day. These may include pizza pies, fruit pies, vegetable pies, and any other kind of pie you can think of!
- Host a recitation contest. Whoever can recite the largest number of digits of Pi wins… you guessed it, a pie!
- There are several movies that relate to “Pi”. Examples include the 1998 movie, Pi, and The Life of Pi.
- Consume or create foods that start with the letters “P” and “I”. Examples include pizza, pie, and pineapple. You may even opt for consuming or creating foods that are shaped like a circle.
- Many people celebrate Pi Day by dressing up like Albert Einstein or engaging in Einstein-related games and activities!
- Have a pie baking and tasting contest!
Get in on The Excitement
Are you ready to have some fun with Pi? If so, you may host a local event, celebrate with your family, and engage in any of the fun activities outlined above.