How Pi Day Became America’s Biggest Math Holiday News Article

Pi Day is celebrated annually on March 14. (Geralt/CCO/Flickr)

A holiday associated with a math constant may not sound very exciting. But the day Pi (“π”), observed each year in the United States on March 14 (3/14), is a exception. That’s because celebrations can start with mathematical activities centered on pi – the ratio of the circumference from a circle to his diameter, widely recognized as 3.14. But they inevitably finish with a slice or two of delicious pie!

The first Pi Day celebration was organized by Larry Shaw, Technician conservative at the San Francisco Exploratorium Museum. On March 14, 1988, he asked his colleagues to join him in a parade around the museum’s “pi shrine” – a metal disc serious with the first 100 digits of pi – and eat fruit pies. The group had so much fun that museum officials turned Pi Day into an annual day Party. Visitors participated in special pi-related activities and ate for free, as a sample savory pies. As news of the fun event spread, schools, libraries and universities across the United States also began to observe Pi Day. In 2009, the US Congress appointed March 14 as National Pi Day.

Today, Pi Day is celebrated in many creative ways. Every March 14 and 15, women’s television meteorologists around the country dress in purple. The movement, known as “Dress for ROD“, began seven years ago after an image of hundreds of forecasters wearing the same dress, albeit in different colors, was shown viral. Meteorologists decided to repeat the fun coincidence annually at to encourage more girls considering careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

March 14, which also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday, has a special day importance for Princeton, New Jersey. This is where the renamed scientist spent the last two decades of his life. The city is celebrating both special occasions with an “irrational” number of events, which include pie, pi-recitation and Einstein look-alike contests.

Princeton, New Jersey, holds an Albert Einstein lookalike contest on Pi Day. (

Numerous retailers Also get into the holiday spirit with special offers on pies, pizzas and other goodies. This year, Blaze Pizza, 7-Eleven and Round Table Pizza will sell select pizzas for just $3.14 on March 14. Those looking for the sweeter varieties will be able to get a free slice of pie from Coco’s Bakery.

Although Pi Day celebrations are relatively new, the digital constant is known for humanity For thousands of years. The Babylonians, who used it 4,000 years ago to determine the area of ​​a circle, gave pi a value of 3. The old The Egyptians came close to the actual number in 1650 BC. when they estimated pi to be 3.165. Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BC), the first to mathematically calculate the constant, gave pi a range between 3 1/7 and 3 10/71. Since all the numbers were derivative without calculators or computers, their proximity to the real value of pi – 3.14 – is really impressive!


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