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Pi Day: About

Pi Day: 3.14

Link to Humble Pi: A Comedy of Math Errors by Matt Parker in the catalog
Link to How to Bake Pi Eugenia Cheng in the catalog
Link to The Magic of Math: solving for x and figuring out why by Arthur Benjamin in the catalog
Link to Foolproof, and Other Mathematical Meditations by Brian Hayes in the catalog
Link to How Pi Can Save Your Life by Chris Waring in Freading
Link to The Math Book by Clifford A Pickover in Freading
Link to Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula : cures many mathematical ills Paul J Nahin in the catalog


History of Pi Day

March 14 marks Pi Day, an annual celebration of the mathematical sign pi. Founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw, March 14 was selected because the numerical date (3.14) represents the first three digits of pi, and it also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday.

The first Pi Day celebration took place at the Exploratorium (Shaw’s place of work), a San Francisco-based interactive science museum, and featured a circular parade and the eating of fruit pies. It wasn’t until 2009, however, that it became an official national holiday when the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation.

Why all the fuss about pi? The Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes is most commonly credited with being the first to accurately calculate the estimated value of pi. Since it is an irrational, transcendental number, it continues on to infinity—the pi-ssibilities are endless! The seemingly never-ending number needs to be abbreviated for problem solving, and the first three digits (3.14) or the fraction 22/7, are commonly accepted as accurate estimations.

In mathematics, this infinite number is crucial because of what it represents in relation to a circle—it’s the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is also essential to engineering, making modern construction possible.

Since the mid-18th century pi has also been represented by the Greek letter π. In fact, the word “pi” itself was actually derived from the first letter of the Greek word perimetros, which means circumference.

In 2015, Pi Day fanatics had a special treat. Celebrations took place on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 a.m., the numerical date and time together representing the first 10 digits of pi, 3.141592653. To date, pi has been calculated to more than 1 trillion decimal places—and the mathematicians don’t plan on stopping there.

Mathematicians, scientists and teachers hope the holiday will help increase interest in math and science nationwide, through instruction, museum exhibitions, pie-eating (or throwing) contests and much more. It seems this national holiday can satisfy the left-brained and the sweet-tooth inclined. Continue reading from History Channel


Bake a Pie to Celebrate Pi Day!

Link to Pieometry: modern tart art and pie design for the eye and the palate by Lauren Ko in the catalog
Link to Pie Squared: irresistibly easy sweet & savory slab pies by Cathy Barrow in the catalog
Link to How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch by Harry Cliff in the catalog
Link to The Book on Pie by Erin Jeanne McDowell in the catalog
Link to Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott in the catalog
Link to Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski in the catalog