A Piece of Pi

As a mathematician, I would be remiss if I did not call attention to National Pi Day, Saturday, March 14.

Since 2009, when the U.S. House of Representatives established National Pi Day, it has been celebrated on March 14. Why? 3, 1 and 4 are the first three digits of Pi. This year, Pi Day is remarkable as it includes the whole Pi: 3.1415.

You might well wonder, “Why does Pi get a special day?” For starters, consider this — and I do not think I exaggerate — Pi makes the world go ‘round.

Pi is the mathematical symbol used to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — approximately 3.1415.

Think of the circles and curves all around us; then try to measure them without Pi, which tells us that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same.

An irrational and transcendental number, Pi has been calculated to more than one trillion digits beyond its decimal point and will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. There is real beauty in that alone.

There are many ways to celebrate, including a 400 W. Rich St. STEAM Factory presentation, “Your slice is bigger than mine: A Pi Day dialogue on teaching mathematics through social justice,” 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to eat Pie. Fruit or cream or pizza. Make it or buy it. It is an excellent way to remember Pi.

The world is not made up of straight lines — thankfully, we have Pi.

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