Celebrate “Pi Day” March 14th!
As a company full scientists, engineers and other technological innovators, we value and celebrate mathematics! So you can probably guess that Pi Day, March 14th, is a big deal to us!
Yes, Pi- the mathematical constant. You know, that “π” symbol thing used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
Since it’s humble beginnings at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988, Pi Day has exploded into a cultural phenomenon celebrated by students, mathematicians, engineers and everyone in between around the world! The day is often commentated with pie eating contests, essays, T-Shirts, poetry, internet memes, math challenges and more!
To understand the fascination of Pi, you must first understand it’s infinite nature. Scientists and mathematicians have calculated Pi to more than a trillion digits, but its exact nature remains a mystery that will never be solved. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.
You may have memorized pi in your High School math class, only to never use it again- but it’s impact on science, technology, engineering and math is astronomical. Steven Strogatz summarizes it’s importance beautifully in this 2015 New York Times article. “The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach,” he writes. “The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random—except that they can’t possibly be random, because they embody the order inherent in a perfect circle. This tension between order and randomness is one of the most tantalizing aspects of pi”.
Pi is so much more than a number. Our modern world depends on it. “It lies at the heart of any technology that involves rotation or waves, and that is much of mechanical and electrical engineering,” writes Chris Budd. “In medical imaging using CAT or MRI scanners, the scanning devices move on a ring which has to be manufactured to a tolerance of one part in 1,000,000, requiring an even more precise value of pi”.
We could go on about our excitement over Pi Day, but we’ll leave you with this list of interesting reads on the subject. So, from all of us at WVCO, Happy Pi Day!
- What Is Pi, and How Did It Originate? via Scientific American
- Infographic: Visualizing Pi via Visually
- The Pi Day of the Century via The New York Times’ The Learning Network
- Why Pi Matters via The New Yorker
- On Pi Day, One Number ‘Reeks’ of Mystery via CNN
- Pi Day Isn’t Just Magical, It’s Mathematics. And There’s Pie! via NPR