If you’re a math geek who lives in the United States, you may have noticed something interesting about the date. It’s March 14! That’s right 3/14, an approximation of pi!
Pi is arguably the most famous mathematical constant. Simply put, pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter. Who cares! Well you all should care because it’s important in geometry and trigonometry; anywhere you have a circle, you have a pi. (Well, two pi. Tau, actually. We’ll get back to that.) Plus, it never ends. The decimals go on forever! We’ve got it calculated out to about a million digits, but there are more. So many more!
So pi is pretty cool. But it’s not without its detractors. There are those who argue that math would be much simpler and more elegant if we could extricate ourselves from the tyranny of pi. Vy Hart makes a compelling argument for abandoning pi in about five minutes:
But, let’s face it, pi has a special place is our social psyche, which is why we celebrate it every year. What can we do to celebrate? Answer: Lots of things!
Run 3.14 miles.
I mean, you did just eat two whole pies.
Get your nerd on and recite a bunch of pi digits.
Challenge your friends! Whoever recites the most digits buys the next pie!
Write a Pi-ku.
This might be my favorite way to celebrate Pi Day I’ve ever heard. Instead of using the 5-7-5 pattern, use 3-1-4. For example:
pis. What’s with that?
Today isn’t Pi Day everywhere. It only works in places where the date is written month first. If you are one of the unlucky ones, you just have to wait until July 22 – or 22/7 – which is known as Pi Approximation Day. You may have to wait, but you can take solace in the fact that 22/7 is a better approximation of pi than 3.14. Either way, it’s a great day to geek out on math.
Share your own Pi-ku in the comments!
Image credit: Robert Couse-Baker