How To Celebrate Pi Day

Mar 14 2014, 11:03am CDT | by

How To Celebrate Pi Day
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Today is Pi Day! On March 14th, also noted as 3.14, math fans across the world celebrate a mathematical constant we all know and love: The ratio of any Euclidean plane circle’s circumference to its diameter, or the ratio of a circle’s area to the square of its radius. It’s irrational and transcendental, but you can call it π.

Most of all, Pi Day is an opportunity to promote mathematics education and remind students that the math they’re learning is used every day by real people in the real world –from engineers to builders to programmers to accountant, and yes, even by journalists.

The first known Pi Day celebration was organized in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, and it has grown over the years to include museums, businesses, and schools around the world.

One company that celebrates Pi Day with style is Raytheon, the 91-year-old aerospace and defense giant. A few years back, they marked the day by delivering hundreds of apple pies to math and science teachers at middle and high schools located within a 3.14-mile radius of its offices across the country. This year, Raytheon assembled more than 100 of the nation’s brightest middle school mathletes into a giant human pi symbol at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Mass., to make a statement about the importance of science and mathematics.

Raytheon says it observes Pi Day as part of an initiative called MathMovesU, which aims to highlight the significance of pi calculations in science, technology, engineering and math, and thank local teachers for inspiring the next generation of innovators.

If you want to celebrate Pi Day on your own, there are lectures and activities happening around the globe. In San Francisco, the Exploratorium is waiving admission and offering pi-themed activities including interactive math lessons and a demonstration of how to throw pizza pi(e) dough. I’ll be at the Museum of Mathematics in New York City for a Pi Day event that includes lectures by KenKen creator Tetsuya Miyamoto and Presidential Teaching Award recipient Dave Masunaga. Check your local science and children’s museums for events in your own area.

Learn about the most influential game of our time in my new book, Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Google +.

Source: Forbes Business


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