Pi Day - March 14
(3.14...) π

Geeky Math Holiday Comes Full Circle

March 14 is National Pi Day, When Math Geeks Rule and Celebrate Pi with Pie

by Lee Hansen

Let's celebrate Pi - it's infinitely interesting and irrational!

March 14 is National Pi Day. Pi, (π) as you probably know, is the never-ending number we apply using math to calculate the circumference of any circle. When we perform a basic math calculation using Pi, we shorten its numerical representation to 3.14 - that's the story behind the notation for, yep, - March 14 - aka Pi Day.

Well, in the USA March 14 notation is 3.14. In Europe it's a whole different equation ...

Happy π Day! STEAM Rocks!

symbol for pi as graffiti on brick wall

Graffiti, π Pi Symbol
Source: By Andrew Bowden from London, United Kingdon (Pi) [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

So, what's the deal about celebrating Pi?

Pi Day celebrations are mostly for fun, but giving Pi a holiday of its own is a great way to make math fun for kids - and to let geeks like me have a day to celebrate STEM!

Now if that seems irrational, it's totally fitting, because Pi is an irrational number.

Come visit us at the dork side - there's Pi here.

Pi Isn't Square - Hip and Chic Pi Day Gear

Math is fun, and fashionable, with Pi tee shirts and gear

Pi tee shirts and accessories are definite conversation starters ... you may need to explain the meaning, so study up then get your Pi gear on to party on 3.14 with STEM pride.

Wear your geekness with pride, with a unique Pie day tee shirt design.

You can customize your fave or check out all the cool STEM and Pi stuff you can get from Zazzle!

For the love of Pi Day π, March 14 - Do The Math

The name Pi comes from the Greek word for perimeter (also known as circumference). π is the first letter of the word (perimetros) using the Greek alphabet.

pi symbol outlines for coloring or crafts template

In general, math computations use 3.14159 to figure calculations with Pi, but in most cases just 3.14 is enough to get by.

Another cool fact about Pi is that if you divide the circumference (the outside measurement) of any circle by its diameter (the measurement across from edge to edge), the result will always be close to 3.14. This formula works for any size circle.

If you do the math correctly, it always comes out the same - unless you make a mistake. Try it with stuff around the house or office to see the magic and beauty of Pi.

Cool, right? Not so geeky after all, right?

STEM in the 20th Century

When I was a kid I loved math and art. My Dad taught me practical uses for math and I learned simple geometry and how to use a slide rule before I was 10 years old.

Come and explore the strange and wonderful math geek annual celebration known as Pi Day, the holiday founded by the "Prince of Pi," physicist Larry Shaw at the San Francisco Exploratorium.

Pi Master, Pi Symbol and Value, Pi Day! Polo Shirt
Pi Master, Pi Symbol and Value, Pi Day! Polo Shirt
by gingcard

The holiday was formally recognized in 2009 by the US House of Representatives and today it's an international celebration and day of fun, math and eating pie.

If you don't know what a slide rule is, well ... either you're not a math geek, or you were born after calculators were invented, or both. Not to worry. Calculators have pretty much replaced the wooden slide rule I played with as a kid in the 1950s. They make great paper weights, collectibles, and conversation pieces for an office wall or coffee table.

Pi is an irrational number.

Does that mean Pi Day makes no sense?

Infinitely not!

Pi π = 3.141592653589793238462 and an infinite number of no-repeating trailing digits; for basic calculations it's shortened to 3.14. Whew.

Irrational numbers have no end; they continue after the decimal point to infinity without repeating. Computers have calculated Pi out to the trillions, and never reached the end. That's quite a lot of numbers to display on a calculator or write on your math papers.

Shortening Pi for calculations to 3.14 makes it a whole lot easier to compute!

Come To The Dork Side We Have Pi T-Shirt
Come To The Dork Side We Have Pi T-Shirt
by The_Shirt_Yurt

Crafty Pi String Art

Pi Cheer Lyrics - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

To help memorize the digits of Pi, some math lovers use this MIT cheer that's actually a mnemonic to assist with recall efforts.

Geek Note MIT's mascot is the beaver, "because they're Nature's engineers." (At least that's what I read from a blog post by an alumnus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.) When my dad attended MIT, he didn't play on any sports teams.

But maybe they had a chess team ...

I'm a Beaver, you're a Beaver, we are Beavers all.
And when we get together, we do the Beaver call.
E to the U du dx,
E to the X dx.
Cosine, secant, tangent, sine,
Integral radical mu dv
Slipstick, sliderule, MIT.

Go Tech!

pi digits to infinity

Fun Facts and Resources

  • Pi Trainer by Eve Andersson helps you learn and memorize digits of Pi to whatever length you need or want.(Who is Eve Andersson? She manages strategic partnerships for Google from London).
  • 3.14 Pie DayTrick If you hold 3.14 up to a mirror, it spells P I.E ...

Pizza Pi line art

Pizza Pie art template

Great STEAM Activities for Teachers and Students

Piday.org is the official web site for celebrating on March 14th (3.14).

Students can learn about pi, share ideas about how to celebrate pi and pi /pie day, enjoy pi-related multimedia, get one million digits of pi, and have some fun with our favorite irrational number: 3.14159265358979323 ...∞