If you are reading this on March 14th at 1:59 p.m., then it must be Pi Day! (Pi at 5 decimal places = 3.14159 : )
What is Pi Day, you ask? Only an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (Pi), or in its easiest understood numeric equivalent, 3.14 (which is why the 14th day of the 3rd month was chosen as Pi Day, 'natch!) Started in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw at San Francisco's Exploratorium Museum to commemorate the importance of mathematics in our everyday lives, today's date also coincides with the birthday of that guy who came up with that other famous mathematical equation, E = mc^{2}— Albert Einstein! Princeton, NJ goes all out by celebrate both Pi Day and the life of its most famous resident with their annual Pi Day Princeton celebration.
But what is Pi? Well, it represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, on a flat plane surface (as you can see in the following animated gif):
Pi has everyday, practical uses from the fields of architecture and engineering to helping plot air travel and calculating satellite signals for television transmissions. Pi is incredibly irrational though, as it's a non-repeating, infinite string of numbers occurring naturally. Even with the help of super computers calculating Pi to the trillionth decimal place, scientists and mathematicians have still been unable to find a pattern or an end.
Here's some fun (and even educational) ways you can celebrate Pi Day:
Use search terms like "mathematics", "geometry", and "number theory" in our online catalog for more Pi-related titles and feel free to "like" and share this post on social media with the hastag #PiDay!