The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


Let Them Eat Pi(e)

Slicing into the sweet and infinite world of Pi Day—where math meets the munchies.
Pi Day celebration. Photo courtesy of ONOKY, Eric Audras.

With Pi Day approaching like no other, many mathematical enthusiasts worldwide gather together to celebrate the wonder of the infinite and irrational number of π, indulging in both intellectual delights and delicious pies. However, with the holiday looming, those unaware of its origins might raise inquiries and crave understanding.

In the year 1988, American Physicist Larry Shaw worked under San Francisco’s Exploratorium as a technical curator. Turning his baked dream into reality, Shaw proposed Pi Day as a day of tangible celebration on March 14th, at 1:59 PM (aligning with the first six digits of Pi). To commemorate this day, the workers of the Exploratorium ventured around town and marched in circular spaces– concluding their wrapping up their march with a sweet indulgence of pie. Nearly 21 years later, Pi Day was officially declared as a national holiday in the States.

For those curious, Pi (or π) is the mathematical constant that represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter– whose elusive value begins with 3.14. Since then, the shenanigans of Pi Day have grown to be celebrated on a global scale (with many innovative ways formed in its honor). Some folks tribute this time with a festive slice of pie, while others memorize the digits as an academic homage to the prevalence of the value in modern society and technology. One can also find teachers utilizing the day as an opportunity to explain and refresh the concepts in the minds of students. On the other hand, many businesses seize the opportunity to hold sales or post special recipes to increase revenue in their workplace. In special cases, one might even find NSYNC parodies of “Bye Bye Bye” transformed into “Pi Pi Pi”.

But wait! There’s more to the holiday than that which meets the eye. Here are even more interesting facts to conclude the evolution of Pi:

  1. On Pi Day of 2015, at 9:26:53 AM, the holiday was observed with its first ten digits (3.141592653).

  2. Renowned theoretical physicist Albert Einstein’s birthday was March 14th, 1879.

  3. If you were to print 1 billion decimal values in a twelve-point font, it would stretch from Kansas to New York City.

  4. Welsh mathematician William Jones created the symbol for Pi (π).

  5. Thanks to modern technology, ten trillion digits of Pi have been recorded.

The sweetness of Pi Day has been evolving rapidly since its creation, and Shaw couldn’t have been happier. On this occasion (much to Shaw’s delight), the San Francisco Exploratorium waived entrance fees. Most of his joy derived from the day’s ability to enhance accessibility and enjoyment for those who’d found it dull during their school years. While Shaw (the “Prince of Pi”) passed away in August of 2017, his holiday surpasses that of his life– and the legacy he left behind will reign in history for as long as the number itself; infinitely.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Trident Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *