Pi Day pies. (Flickr user Dennis Wilkinson/Thinkstock)
Happy Pi Day!

March 14, when written as 3/14, it represents the first three digits of pi. It is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Every year we honor the world's most famous mathematical constant. Pi enthusiasts around the world embrace their inner nerdiness. They celebrate Pi Day.

The date also happens to be Einstein's birthday. It inspires a variety of events every year. Last year was the ultimate Pi Day. When you added the year to the date notation, 3/14/15, it encompassed even more digits in the sequence. We won't see this happen again for 100 years.

Why are people crazy about pi? The number is 3 followed by a never-ending string of random numbers after the decimal point.

It is irrational. That means it cannot be expressed through the division of two whole numbers.

It is also a transcendental number. That means that it isn't the root of any algebraic number.

This irrational and transcendental nature appeals to people. Perhaps it is because pi's endless flow of digits reflects the unending circle it helps to trace.

Pi has held an almost mystical quality to humans throughout time. Its unspoken presence can be felt in the circular ruins of Stonehenge. It can be felt in the vaulted ceilings of domed Roman temples. It can also be seen in the celestial spheres of Plato and Ptolemy.

It has inspired centuries of mathematical puzzles. And it has inspired some of humanity's most iconic artwork.

People spend years of their lives attempting to memorize its digits. Contests are held to see who knows the most numbers after the decimal. Some people write "piaku."  Those are poems in which the number of letters in each word represents subsequent digits of pi.

Other people create complex works of art. They are inspired by the randomness of pi. The list goes on and on. Not unlike pi itself.

How are you celebrating Pi Day?

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Assigned 112 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What would happen if pi = 3.2?

• mattl-bel
3/14/2016 - 09:20 a.m.

It would be 3/2.

• elliew-bel
3/14/2016 - 09:37 a.m.

Then it would be on a different day probably and it wouldn't be on Einsteins birthday.

• sophies-bel
3/14/2016 - 09:37 a.m.

It would mean einstein's birthday wouldn't be on the same day and pie would get a different meaning.

3/14/2016 - 11:54 a.m.

The meaning of pi would be different. The reason pi is on 3.14 Is because the second digits after the decimal .14 so the meaning of pi would be completely different.

• tyrona-eng
3/15/2016 - 09:03 a.m.

If we did have this we would have shorter days

• alexiam-pit
3/15/2016 - 01:46 p.m.

I think that they had said "The date is on Einstein's birthday.", that had amazed me because it is on a important scientist birthday. I have many questions to ask if I had ever meet the people who had created pi day. I wonder if Albert had found out pi before people like us day? Why would they make pi day so important but not other discoveries? What do you think of these question could you be able to answer them. I loved this article. This had a very important cause. Also do you think someone will find the end to pi?

• jenniek-bel
3/15/2016 - 02:01 p.m.

That would mess up the pi days date.

• darianv-3-bar
3/18/2016 - 12:28 a.m.

If pi equaled 3.2 then the number would not be special because pi is not a terminating decimal and has many numbers following 3.14."The number is 3 followed by a never-ending string of random numbers after the decimal point."
i like this article because we just celebrated it in Mrs. Avol's class.

• erice-ver
3/18/2016 - 02:30 p.m.

Pi is a never ending it keeps going & the pi is Albert enstine birthday. It's been inspired by many centuries. We won't see it aleast for 100 years

• jasminec-6-bar
3/21/2016 - 07:54 p.m.

If pi equaled 3.2 then Pi Day would not be on March 14, the day would be on March 2. Also if pi only equaled 3.2 the number would definitely not be as well know as it is. The reason that the number is so famous is the fact that it is," irrational and transcendental," so the number's "nature appeals to people."