It’s Pi Day, North Salem. Here’s what to know about Pi.
March 14 (3-14) is known as Pi Day. While the “holiday” is typically hyped up by people who specialize in circular foods–ahem, pie bakers and pizzerias–Pi Day is, at its core, about celebrating a truly remarkable, infinite number.
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Pi, which numerically is approximately 3.14, is one of the most well-known mathematical constants. Represented by the Greek symbol π, Pi refers to the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. That is, for any circle, the distance around its edge is a little more than three times the distance across. Pi has no end and no repeating pattern.
According to PiDay.org, Pi has fascinated mathematicians for thousands of years–dating back to the ancient Babylonians–and continues to do so to this day. Here in North Salem, math teachers at the Middle School / High School didn’t miss an opportunity to celebrate.
“In my 6th grade math classes today, students watched a few short video clips explaining the meaning of Pi, how to calculate it, and what makes it such an interesting and special number,” said Kathryn Ticker, a 6th grade math teacher at North Salem Middle School. “They then read the book “Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi: A Math Adventure” by Cindy Neuschwander. While they listened to the story, they colored different “Pi” pictures to hang in the classroom.
Mark Takken, a North Salem High School senior and 2022 STS Regeneron Scholar, said that Pi plays an important role in many real world math applications. Take “Buffoon’s Needle,” for example. This geometrical exercise involves dropping a needle on a lined sheet of paper and then determining the likelihood that the needle will cross one of the lines on the page. The probability, every time, is 2 divided by pi.
So the next time you draw a circle or cut into a pizza, remember, Pi made this.
Fun facts about Pi:
- Pi was discovered by ancient Babylonians nearly 4,000 years ago
- The symbol for Pi is a Greek letter that is the first letter of the Greek words for “periphery” and “perimeter.”
- Because Pi is an infinite number, every single digit will never be determined. Pi has currently been calculated to 22,459,718,361 digits.
- Albert Einstein was born on “Pi Day” - March 14, 1879. Stephen Hawking died on “Pi Day” - March 14, 2018.