What is Pi Day?
Since 2009, Pi Day has been observed as a national holiday in the USA. You might assume that some people chose the date to honor Albert Einstein because it is his birthday and March 14.
However, Larry Shaw, the physicist who devised the idea for Pi Day, believed it would be wonderful to commemorate the first three crucial figures of Pi —3.14— on March 14.
Let's tour this day's history and a lot more fascinating information about Pi that you probably didn't know.
Pi Day Quick Overview
- Date: March 14
- Category: Special Interest
- Where It’s Marked? USA
- Why It’s Marked? The day combines fun, education, and maths. Pi is a Greek letter “π,” is a constant value used in math that represents the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is just about 3.14…15…9265359…( and so on)
History of Pi Day
Do you know how long we have been using Pi? For around 4000 years, we have used Pi in various sectors such as quantum physics, air travel, medicine, and building construction. But before 1988, no one has ever thought of celebrating Pi day.
Continue reading to know how the day started.
1. Celebrating Pi Day for the first time
Lawrence N. Shaw used to work in the Exploratorium. It is one of the most prominent science museums situated in San Francisco. Shaw was the curator of the museum and artist, but his main identity was being a physicist.
Therefore, he realized the importance of celebrating Pi in our everyday life. And being the museum curator, he found the perfect opportunity to make the kids who visit the museum interested to learn more about this irrational sign from a very early age.
He planned to celebrate the day by having fruit pies and arranging a parade. The parade is not like the one you see on the streets but is circular. Shaw himself would form a circle with the kids to make them understand the relevance of a circle and Pi.
The round parade signifies the relation between the pi and the circle. You all know that Pi is the ratio you can get by dividing the circumference by the diameter of a circle. And the ratio is constant.
Probably that’s why Shaw was so obsessed with having round fruit pies and also told everyone to join his circular and unique parade.
Larry Shaw is also known as the Prince of Pi, as he was the founder of this day.
2. Coincidences with Pi Day
What makes the Pi Day celebration more interesting is that the day is also the birth anniversary of the most influential and leading scientist of all time, Albert Einstein. Sir Einstein was born on March 14, 1879.
Another unfortunate coincidence was that another great scientist Stephen Hawkings died on March 14, 2018.
Initially, the plan was to arrange a fun celebration at the museum with lots of pies and parades with the figures associated with Pi's value. Sara, daughter of Larry Shaw, was the first to figure out the coincidence of the day.
Since then, Exploratorium has celebrated Pi day, commemorating Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking s, and Larry Shaw on the Pie Feast and Circular Parade.
How to Celebrate Pi Day?
Pi Day can celebrate by eating, laughing with friends, and learning something new about Pi every year. Celebrating Pi Day should be helpful for teachers and parents who want to make their kids more interested in math magic rather than just practicing it to get good grades.
Here are some ideas to observe Pi Day:
1. Introduce Pi to students
What can be the perfect occasion to introduce Pi to your students? You can perform many exciting activities in the classroom to make Pi more interesting. For example, particular Pi Day workouts, Pi Day marathons, Artwork and crafts related to Pi, and arranging a Scavenger hunt for Pi.
2. Arrange a contest
If you are a teacher, you can arrange a quiz contest about Pi in the class. Or how about reciting the value to Pi blindfolded? And the winner will get an extra slice of Apple Pie or Pizza.
3. Worksheet for Pi Day
With the activities, you can show your kids the incredible relationship between a circle's diameter and circumference. And what can be the best way to do that than teaching them with the example of having a sweet pie or delicious pizza?
So, construct a worksheet, and tell your students to bake a pie or pizza at home. And calculate the value of Pi using those round objects. This way, they will understand the significance and fun of including mathematics in practical life.
4. Play Pi Toss
Do you always need a circle to estimate the value of Pi? Well, you can find out that all by yourself, but this unusual activity is recommended by the Exploratorium, which is named Pi Toss.
This trick is also associated with Probability, another term used widely in mathematics.
To play the Pi toss, you will need toothpicks, a piece of paper, and a calculator. And then follow the steps below:
Step 01: Take a ruler and a pencil to draw vertically parallel lines on the paper. The distance between the two lines will be the length of two toothpicks placed one after another.
Step 02: Randomly throw toothpicks on the paper and count the number of toothpicks touching the line.
Step 03: Divide the total number of toothpicks you have thrown on the paper by the number of toothpicks touching the line.
You will find that the value is almost the same as Pi 3.14. And the more time you apply this trick and calculate, the more accurate the value.
Countries that Observe Pi Day
The United States, Belize, and some European countries celebrate Pi Day on March 14.
Interesting Facts about Pi Day
After celebrating Pi Day, you may also need fun facts about Pi to share with your friends. Here they are:
- The University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons in Switzerland has calculated 62,831,853,071,796 digits as the most accurate value of Pi, and the calculation is still ongoing.
- The computation took 108 days and is recorded by the Guinness World Records.
- The use of Pi can be seen back when the Pyramids were made using the principle of Pi.
- In 1706, William Jones introduced the symbol of Pi you use at present.
- Pi is also used widely to stress test a new computer.
- Rajveer Meena is the record holder who recited 70,000 decimal figures of the value of Pi. It took him 10 hours to complete the task, and he was blindfolded the whole time.
- Pi is not only famous in the field of math or science. There was a trial known as OJ. Simpson, where the FBI agent was proven wrong by the attorney as he used Pi inaccurately to find evidence.
- We know the value of Pi to 22 trillion decimal places.
- Pi-lish is a unique writing system that uses the value of Pi. There is even a book named, Not a Wake by Michael Keith in this language.
- You will not find the sequence 123456 in the first million digits of Pi.
Unique Pi Day Celebration ideas
Those who feel they need some creative ideas to celebrate Pi Day can choose any of the following.
1. Be creative with Pi
People tend to learn anything faster when they keep doing the same thing again and again. If you do anything creative with Pi, for example, trying new methods of calculating Pi or using it in practical life, your knowledge about Pi will increase.
2. Watch movies on mathematics and Pi
Some beautiful movies have been made based on the life of famous mathematicians and physicists. On this Pi day, watching these movies will help you feel inspired. Some of the films are:
- Pi (1998)
- Cube (1997)
- Infinity (1996)
- Life of Pi (2012)
- Good Will Hunting (1997)
- Hidden Figures (2016)
- The Imitation Game (2014)
- Miracle: Letters to the President (2021)
- Stand and Deliver (1998)
- A Brief History of Time (1991)
3. Memorize the Pi value
Compete with your friends to know who can remember most decimal places.
Pi Day Quotes
Wondering how to wish your Pi-lover friend? Check out this fantastic collection of Pi Day quotes, quizzes, and funny jokes.
“Probably no symbol in mathematics has evoked as much mystery, romanticism, misconception, and human interest as the number pi.”- William L. Schaaf
“The Great Pyramid, that monument to spirituality that the Agashan teachers hold in such high esteem, is built according to Pi’s principles.”- William Eisen
“Men may come, and men may go…but Pi goes on forever.”- George Augustus Sala
“Exploring pi is like exploring the universe.”- David Chudnovsky
“Love is like Pi- natural, irrational, and vital.”- Lisa Hoffman
“Pi is not merely the ubiquitous factor in high school geometry problems; it is stitched across the whole tapestry of mathematics, not just geometry’s little corner of it.”- Robert Kanigel.
1. Is Pi Day on July 22?
July 22 is celebrated as Casual Pi Day or Pi Approximation Day. The fraction 22/7 is also considered the approximate value of Pi. Therefore, July 27 is also equally significant.
2. Is Pi Day a federal holiday?
Yes, Pi Day is a federal holiday. In 2009, the ‘US House of Representatives enacted legislation making it a national holiday.
3. Why is Pi called Pi?
Pi comes from the Greek ‘Perimitros’. So, William Jones first called this irrational number pi in 1706.
4. Who is the founder of Pi?
Archimedes of Syracuse, a renowned mathematician in ancient history, was the founder of Pi.
Pi Day Observances
|2021||Sunday||14 March||Pi Day|
|2022||Monday||14 March||Pi Day|
|2023||Tuesday||14 March||Pi Day|
|2024||Thursday||14 March||Pi Day|
|2025||Friday||14 March||Pi Day|
|2026||Saturday||14 March||Pi Day|
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