Want A Slice Of Pi?
By CC Chiang
March 14th marks the day on which the mathematical constant, pi (π) is annually celebrated. Why March 14th? Well, when you write out the date (3/14), the numbers of the date are the first three figures of pi. The official celebration begins at 1:59 pm, since the next three digits of the pi are 1, 5 and 9.
According to CNN, Pi Day was a celebration that began 28 years ago at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. Larry Shaw, a physicist, worked with the electronics at the museum. He decided to celebrate pi on March 14, 1988, with a few of the museum staff members. This tradition is now celebrated by math enthusiasts all over the world.
Pi is represented by the Greek letter, π, and is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. William Jones, a math teacher, first used this symbol for pi in 1706. There are no zeros in the first 31 digits of pi and there are no occurrences of the sequence 123456 in the first million digits of pi. Pi supposedly continues infinitely without repetition or pattern, however the true “randomness” of pi’s digits has never been proven. The value of pi has now been calculated to more than two trillion digits after its decimal point.
In honor of Pi Day, here are a list of fun facts:
- Many people celebrate this day by eating pies because of it being mistaken for a pie.
- March 14th also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday.
- Some celebrate Pi Day on July 22, as 22/7 is an approximation for pi.
- 3.14 in the mirror spells pie.
- Computing the value of Pi is a stress test for a computer because even computers can’t find the value of pi.
- The world record for memorising the value of pi was set by Chao Lu in 2005 in China, where he recited the first 67,890 digits by memory correctly.
Now that you have learned a few facts about Pi Day, mark your calendar for March 14th and don’t forget to bake your pie!