Pi Day: an important mathematical holiday

Ashley Cohen, Contributing Writer

Pi Day was recently observed on March 14. Contrary to common belief, the holiday is not about cherry or pumpkin pie.  It’s about honoring the endless, and very important, number 3.14….

Despite Pi Day’s popularity in the academic sphere, many students are unaware of the reason why this day is even celebrated at all.

The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes is said to be the first person to calculate the value of pi.  Since it is an irrational number, it continues to infinity and needs to be abbreviated for mathematical purposes.  In mathematics, this number is extremely important because of its relationship to a circle.

“It’s so cool how there is a holiday dedicated to only a number,” said freshman Nicole Bonavitacola.

Founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw, Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical number, π. Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 because 3, 1, and 4 are the first three digits of the unique constant.  Not to mention, this date also happens to be Albert Einstein’s Birthday.

“That’s so funny how it falls on Albert Einstein’s birthday!” said freshman Ella Cohn.

The first celebration was at the Exploratorium, an interactive science museum in San Francisco which included a parade of circles and the eating of fruit pies. In 2009, it became an official national holiday when the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation.

Mathematicians, scientists, and teachers hope the holiday will increase interest in math and science nationwide.