National Pi Day Celebrations in the United States

National Pi Day Celebrations in the United States

Friday, March 14 was National Pi Day, and it was celebrated all around the United States and the world — how did you celebrate it? Festivities ranged from eating pi(e) to pizzerias offering pizza pie for $3.14 to people watching pi-related movies, such as American Pi(e) and Life of Pi. Fittingly, March 14 was also the birthday of physicist Albert Einstein.

National Pi Day is an actual national holiday in the United States. The day was made a national holiday in 2009 by Congress, a day when the nation’s lawmakers actually did something besides bickering and disagreeing with each other.

It’s a great way to draw the public’s attention to one of the most important numbers in both mathematics and in nature, and it’s also a fun excuse to “Get Your Pi On” and pig out, eating pie and/or pizza pie.

The mathematical figure pi begins with 3.14 and continues on for what some people think might be infinity. Pi has been calculated to over a trillion digits. Pi is, of course, the ratio of a circleโ€™s circumference to its diameter. It is both an irrational number and a mathematical constant.

How did some people celebrate National Pi Day?

National Pi Day was celebrated and honored by people all around the United States, including graduate students at Purdue University. They are among the people around the United States, and the world, who ate slices of pie to celebrate National Pi Day.

The celebration was held on the third floor of Purdue University’s Mathematical Sciences Building library in a lounge. Mathematicians there had a fun and intellectually stimulating time, while also enjoying various flavors of pie and discussing mathematical theories.

As one of the students, Alex Barrios, 25, put it, pi is a number which is important to have a basic understanding of math, and it’s also a figure that is frequently crucial in “more complex mathematics,” where “you still have the same theory appearing over and over again.โ€

The very choice of celebrating National Pi Day on March 14 involves the first three numbers of pi, as the day is in March, the third month of the year, and on the 14th day of the month.

The National Pi Day celebration was put together by Andrew Zeller, the president of the Purdue Graduate American Mathematical Society.
Zeller called pi “one of the five most important numbers,” the other ones being i, e, 0, and 1.

National Pi Day was celebrated in Washington, at the West Seattle Branch of the Seattle Public Library, by eating delicious pie courtesy of the Shoofly Pie Company there. The children and adults who were at the library celebrated the famous mathematical figure, pi, in a sweet way, by consuming slices of pie in flavors such as lemon meringue, apple, and cherry.

The National Pi Day celebration at the library was organized by children’s librarian, Nathalie Gelms. It marked the debut of a series of STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs that will be held at the library.

Other ways that people celebrated National Pi Day was to sing “Happy Birthday” in honor of Albert einstein’s birthday. Born in Ulm, Germany in 1879, he is often considered to be the father of modern physics, and he originated the famous Theory of Relativity, among his many accomplishments.

Besides eating pie, some people celebrated National Pi Day by making pies. Pies are somewhat related to the number pi, as they are circle-shaped. It might be difficult to eat exactly 3.14 slices of pie, though likely many people attempted doing just that on Friday, March 14.

The pizzeria chain Your Pie in Columbus, Georgia, sold pizza pies for the low price of just $3.14. They advertise that they are the originators of customized, quick-serve, brick-oven pizzas.

Others made pi-related puns, and spent some pleasant time glued to their TV screens or computer monitors or other electronic devices watching movies like The Life of Pi, Pi, and American Pie. Just make sure that the movies you watch aren’t pi-rated ones.

More healthy alternative ways some people celebrated National Pi day included making 3.14 mile Pi Fun Runs, and breaking up exercise routines into 3.14 minute timed intervals.

How did you celebrate National Pi Day? Please let me know in the comments area below, and may the rest of your weekend be even more fun-filled (if possible) than the fun you hopefully had on Friday, the day when people in the United States and around the world honored the mathematical constant pi!

Written by: Douglas Cobb

7 Responses to "National Pi Day Celebrations in the United States"

  1. gman   March 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    except of course the mm/dd/yy date format for pi day to be correct is only used in a handful of countries and not actually around the world at all

  2. David   March 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Circled the block three times looking for a parking spot, does that qualify?

  3. Cactii   March 15, 2014 at 10:21 am

    With a Steak and a BJ – March 14 is also Steak and a BJ Day and if you have a choice over Pi and a… ahhh never mind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Hsiang   March 15, 2014 at 7:35 am

    the last digit on that pie should have been a 2, because a 9 comes after that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. David   March 14, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    The decimal representation of Pi really does never terminate, going on to infinity. Furthermore, it never gets to a place where it repeats some list of digits over and over. If it did either of these things, it would be a rational number (ratio of two integers), but it can be proven that it isn’t a rational number.

  6. El Paco Loco   March 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I burnt the crust, the punkin was runny and the whipped cream went sour.

  7. Connor   March 14, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I celebrated by being irrational, but alas no one noticed!


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