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The Best Ways to Celebrate Pi Day and Embrace Your Mathematical Side


Posted on March 8, 2016 by Delaware Valley University.

Pi Day is March 14, for all of the math fanatics at Delaware Valley University! It’s when people around the world celebrate this mathematical symbol. 

Pi represents a constant, which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter—approximately 3.14159. This constant has been calculated to more than 1 trillion digits beyond its decimal point.

More About Pi

Because pi is a constant number, for all circles of any size, pi will be the same. The diameter is measured through the center from edge to edge, while the circumference is the distance around. 

History of Pi

Archimedes, the ancient mathematician, discovered that pi was approximately 22/7 by using polygons with many sides to approximate circles. Then, in 1706, William Jones began using the symbol (Greek letter) to represent this. Then the p was chosen because of perimeter. Pi become more popular after it was adopted by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737. 

Using Pi in Geometry

Pi is helpful when solving geometry problems that involve circles. Some math problems that ask to find the area of a circle or the volume of a cylinder can be solved by using pi. 

Celebrating Pi

Now that you understand more about pi, how it came about, and how it's used in geometry, why not do some related activities to celebrate? 

Find out if there are any events in the area. Some science centers and museums host events in celebration of Pi Day. Check out the centers around you to explore what they have to offer. Princeton University, for example, hosts a weekend-long celebration with lectures, pie-eating contests and other activities. 

Pi Day is also Albert Einstein's birthday, so many celebrations include activities about him and his life. 

Or you can host your own Pi Day party. Have pi-related foods such as fruit pies and pizza pies. You can also tell everyone to come to Pi Day with a few math questions and everyone can try to solve them using pi. The questions should be geometry or trigonometry related. 

Another fun activity is seeing who can memorize as many digits in pi as possible then reciting them to the party or seeing how many digits you can write. 

If you're active, run 3.14 miles, which is just slightly longer than a 5K. If you're not very active, drive 3.14 miles instead.

Use these tips to make your Pi Day fun and full of excitement. Last year, the date for Pi Day was 3/14/15 and was celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm at 9:26 in honor of the number: 3.1415926. 

Click here for more information and tips at DelVal's blog.