All across the nation on March 14, many students and schools will
be celebrating the history and importance of pi on Pi Day! Pi dates to almost
4,000 years ago during the time of the ancient Babylonians. At this time, they
utilized the number 3.125 to calculate the area of a circle. The ancient
Egyptians are also believed to have used an approximation of pi.

The modern day abbreviated version of pi (3.14) is often used in
calculations for math problems, but true pi is an irrational number, which
means its decimal form consists of infinite numbers that never end or fall into
a repeating pattern. Around the start of the 20th century, there were said to
be roughly 500 digits of pi known to the mathematical world. In fact, some
scientists have now used computers to calculate the digits of pi into the
millions, yet there doesn’t seem to be any kind of pattern within those
digits!

While Pi is used in many formulas and processes within the realm of
science and mathematics, it’s mainly referenced as the ratio of the
circumference of a circle to its diameter. Regardless of the size of the
circle, the ratio of the circumference to diameter will always remain the
same. The formula that is used to calculate the area of a circle is A = πr^{2} (Area = pi × radius
squared). This is the formula that many students must memorize today in their
math classes.

Aside from its use within mathematics, pi has developed a cult
around it in other ways. Piphology, for instance, is the memorization of the
digits of pi. People study and recite as many digits of pi as they can. The
world record holder recited 70,000 digits! Others write poems in which each
word has the same letters as its equivalent digit in pi. These are sometimes
referred to as “piems.” For example: Now, (3) I (1) know (4) a (1) novel (5)
procedure (9) to (2) write (6) about (5) pie (3)! While not a very good poem,
you can see the word length follows the digits of pi (3.141592653….). Can you
write a better “piem?”

And on March 14 (3/14), many schools around the nation celebrate Pi
Day in different ways. Some schools or classes bake pies attached to
fundraisers for their science and math clubs, while others create the Pi symbol
(π) with the use of different colored cupcakes. Some even decorate classrooms
with all of the numbers in pi that they can. Visit our Facebook and Instagram
and share some of the ways that you celebrate Pi Day!