Mathematics is all about making the invisible visible. The relationship between the distance around a circle and straight across can’t be seen directly but is well known. The ratio of circumference to diameter is pi, whose symbol is π.
In 1971, Petr Beckman published A History of π which details humanity’s attempts to capture this irrational number. From about 3, to 22/7, to 256/81, to as many digits of accuracy as you are willing to compute, mathematicians and dilettantes have approximated π with precision.
Some people celebrate Pi Day by eating pastries and pies. A slice of cherry pie works for me. Technical schools and math classes celebrate by writing digits of pi, by answering math questions, or having an all-around fun day. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology celebrates by sending out its admission decisions. Einstein was born on March 14. This is a special day.
Pi Day this year of 2015 will be a once-in-lifetime event for most of us. Look at it — 3/14/15 is the first five digits of π = 3.14159265358979. If you see people in a joyful but quiet moment around 9:26, they may be paying attention to π with additional precision.
If you need some help remembering, the following is a famous piem (pi + poem) where the letter count of each word is a digit of π: How I need a drink, alcoholic, of course, after the tough chapters involving quantum mechanics.
Given the technical nature of Cyberbully Blues, it seems only fitting to help celebrate this very special day. On Pi Day, on Amazon, Cyberbully Blues will be released. Perhaps, you’ll join in the celebration.
March 9, 2015 at 8:15 am
I’ve scheduled your blog to be broadcast on the club’s FB page on 3/14/15 at 9:25 am. I enjoy your brainy post very much.
March 9, 2015 at 9:10 am
What a wonderful way to celebrate Pi Day!
March 9, 2015 at 9:53 am
Thanks for the entertaining reminder about the meaning of Pi.
March 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm
Hi Reuben, when I was in second grade, my teacher drew a pie on the board to illustrate fractions as you cut the pie. I drew a blank. What does a pie have to do with math? I wondered. My math hasn’t progressed much further I’m afraid. Kay
March 10, 2015 at 2:50 pm
In my experience, baked pies teach better than drawn ones. Wondering about math and π sounds like progress to me. — Rubin
March 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm
Rubin, thanks for this great informative article. Very enjoyable. And, yes, I will definitely try and remember to be doing something meaningful and thoughtful at 9:26. I’m thinking a tall cool one and reading your book might be appropriate.