Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Pi Day!

"Pie Sigh" digital illustration

Yesterday was a very special day to mathematicians and math enthusiasts everywhere... So to all of my fellow nerdy friends out there, Happy (Belated) Pi Day!

What is Pi Day you ask???  Well, oh boy, am I glad you asked!!!

Pi, which is a Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.  The first three digits of Pi are 3.14, which is the numerical date of March 14th (3/14).  The concept of Pi is pretty mind blowing if you actually stop to think about it (which, like me, I'm sure so many of you do... haha).  The number is infinite without ever repeating.  ("Nerd Speak" to Impress Your Friends With:  In fancy terms, this is referred to as an irrational and transcendental number!)  It goes on and on and on and on and on.  FOR FOREVER.  Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal.   Over 1 trillion digits, people!  That's a heck of a lot of digits. 

Now for some "Pi Fun Facts"!  (Yay!)  The symbol for Pi was first used in the year 1706, by a man named William Jones.  However, it did not become popular until after it was adopted in 1737, by a Swiss mathematician named Leonhard Euler.  You can find out more about Pi here and see one million of the digits of Pi here.

Yesterday, J's entire school celebrated Pi Day.  They played music to do with circles and with the word "Pi" in them.  (He told me that he sang Byyyye byyyye Miss American Pi! about 25 times yesterday.)  The kids played games to do with circles, created circle crafts, and even ate foods shaped like circles!  (Of course that means that there were pies, donuts, cupcakes, and cookies, but of course I did not get any of those at the end of the day.  However, he did bring me apples and oranges...  Yaaay...  Can you sense the bitter disappointment in my voice?  Well hey, we are watching what we eat, so I guess that's good... and apples and oranges are round, too...)   It was an entire day dedicated to the joys and mysteries of circles and of Pi, or pie...  Haha!  Me being the self professed nerd that I am, thought that this idea was genius!  What a fun day to celebrate with your students!  I'm getting hungry thinking about these yummy goodies.  I am really craving waffles and maple syrup right now.  If I ever celebrated Pi Day at school, I would want pancakes and waffles at my Pi Day feast.  Circular ones of course.

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