Pi Day is commemorated on March 14th (3.14) by Pie Lovers
This year is a very special for Pi Day. The date March 14, 2015 is the centennial celebration of Pi since the numerical date is 3/14/15 (3.1415). So now you know this can only happen once every 100 years.
Pi Day began in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium and now is internationally recognized.
Why pie lovers observe Pi Day?
It’s a day that all pie lovers are able to get together, face to face or just in spirit, to share their passion for pie or just a nice excuse to get really nerdy.
The most obvious connection Pi has with Pie is that they are both round in shape and relate to the perfect “circle”.
Both have long histories going back when Egypt was a world power and Pharaohs ruled like gods.
These round things both shaped mankind’s future in mobility and travel. Where would we be without the wheel? Pie contributed to our society more than you think.
Did you know pie is the ancestor of the sandwich? Pie was used to preserve and package food for long journeys far from home or to have a meal at the royal table. All of this took place way before refrigerators or air-tight containers were invented. Read more on Pie History.
Many schools in the United States and our friends in Great Britain observe Pi Day on the 14th day of March. The Pi (π) and the digital representation (3.14159) are often used by number loving “math geeks” or nerds. Many inside jokes follow these mathematical and technological minded friends.
Pi Day was selected for schools to take the opportunity to teach their students about Pi and “engage them about the study of mathematics.”
The Best way to celebrate Pi Day is…
Yes, the very best way to observe Pi Day is to share. It could be with your family or a friend you choose to share.
However, I like to give a pie to someone who least suspects to get a gift from me. Almost every year I give a pie to a different neighbor who casually waves hi to me or the home I drive past on my way to work.
Give a pie story
One year I made mini lemon meringue pies. So I sat down in front of my pies and made plans who would get one. This year I will give one pie to a retired couple who lived just across the road. I like neighbors who are close by because it’s so much easier dropping off a pie than running around town hoping one of pies don’t take off and fall on to the floor of the car.
I walked over to the neighbor, ran the doorbell, and the husband opens the door. I explained I made too many pies and I would like to give his family one. There was silence in the air and he look bewildered. He said, “Okay, I’ll take it but I’m diabetic. Thanks.” Then he closed the door in a hurry. I left perplex myself.
A few days later after returning from work, I step out of my car like any another day and a lady quickly walked up to me, almost as if she was watching for me to get home. At first I thought something was wrong, but then I realized it was my neighbor who I gave the pie to.
She said as she gave me a hug, how did you know? How did you know it was my birthday and lemon meringue pie is my favorite? She told me when she was young her mom made her lemon meringue pies for her birthday and it has been a long time she had a lemon meringue pie since her mom has past away. You gave me the BEST pie every. I can see happy tears coming from her eyes. It’s very true that there is more happiness in giving than receiving.
What is Pi π?
Pi is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Whatever the size of a circle, if you divide its circumference by its diameter you will always get 3.14159…, better known as pi.
Therefore, Pi is just the ratio-of-a-circle’s-circumference-to-its-diameter, better recognized as the mathematical constant beginning with 3.14159.
Pi is an irrational number, continuing infinitely without repeating. It is usually estimated to the hundredths place (3.14), but with the use of computers, pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal.
Do not use
pumpkins for pies.
The History of π ‘Pi ~ 3.14159’
Babylonians who lived way before Jesus Christ figured the area of a circle by taking 3 times the square of its radius. Therefore, in Babylon they used the number three for Pi. However, archeologists located a tablet in Babylon in dated around 1750 BCE had indicated Pi to be 3.125. Now, that number is not too far of what we use today, some smart people.
Of coarse the Egyptians need to come up with their own Pi. Around the same time as the Babylonians, 1650 BCE, the Rhind Papyrus revealed ancient Egypt used 3.1605 for Pi in calculating the area of a circle.
Now comes Archimedes of Syracuse (287–212 BCE), who for the first time calculates the approximation for Pi to be between 3 1/7 and 3 10/71.
How you ask? Archimedes used the Pythagorean Theorem to find the area of two polygons or a circle where one polygon was inscribed inside a circle and the other polygon circumscribed the same circle. Since he knew the actual area of the circle lied between the areas of the two polygons, he was able to prove where the value of Pi within set boundaries.
A similar approach was used by a brilliant Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi of the 5th century to calculate Pi by approximation to a polygon.
Mathematicians began using the Greek letter π in the 16th century. It seems that the Greek letter was first introduced by William Jones in 1706 of his work in Synopsis Palmariorum Matheseos; or, a New Introduction to the Mathematics. Before then, mathematicians sometimes used letters such as c or p instead.
In 1748, Leonhard Euler used π in his famous work Introduction in analysin infinitorum (he wrote: “for the sake of brevity we will write this number as π; thus π is equal to half the circumference of a circle of radius 1”). Then and now the practice was universally adopted to use π in the Western world.
Congress Designates March 14 National Pi Day (Pie Day).
It’s really cool to like pi (pie) these days. Even the House of Representatives elected to designate of March 14 as National Pi Day in 2009.
The Resolution Reads:
Whereas mathematics and science can be a fun and interesting part of a child’s education, and learning about Pi can be an engaging way to teach children about geometry and attract them to study science and mathematics; and
Whereas Pi can be approximated as 3.14, and thus March 14, 2009, is an appropriate day for ‘National Pi Day’: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
- supports the designation of a ‘Pi Day’ and its celebration around the world;
- recognizes the continuing importance of National Science Foundation’s math and science education programs; and
- encourages schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about Pi and engage them about the study of mathematics.
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