Today, I learned from my 13-year-old daughter that Pi Day is celebrated every March 14 - 3/14 - 3.14 - commemorating the mathematical constant pi = 3.14159265+. Pi represents the relationship between a circle's diameter (its width) and its circumference (the distance around the circle).

I was unaware it was such a special day, but I heard it is very popular among mathematicians and kids in middle school. In fact, it was created by a physicist Larry Shaw at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1989. Can you imagine the celebration in 2015 when the date will be 3.14.15? It's going to be crazy fun.

I watched my daughter Nell and her friend Carly make this cake using fondant to finish it off. I asked her why a cake was not a pie, and she explained that one of the boys was already making a pie for the class, and she was asked to make a cake. Good to see the boys are baking in middle school.

What Is National Pi Day?

National Pi Day, celebrated annually on March 14th (3/14), honors one of mathematics's most intriguing and fundamental constants - π (pi). This day not only commemorates the significance of this irrational number but also serves as a fun and educational opportunity to explore its many fascinating properties.

The value of pi, approximately equal to 3.14159, represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. While its decimal representation continues infinitely without repetition, mathematicians and enthusiasts have continuously pursued calculating as many digits of pi as possible, utilizing various computational methods and algorithms.

Pi Day festivities often feature various activities, ranging from mathematical quizzes and competitions to baking and consuming delicious pies. Educational institutions worldwide use this occasion to engage students in interactive lessons about geometry, trigonometry, and the history of mathematics. It's a day where the beauty and utility of mathematics take center stage, captivating the minds of both young and old alike.

### History

The history of Pi Day dates back to the late 1980s when physicist Larry Shaw, a staff physicist at the San Francisco Exploratorium, organized the first celebration on March 14, 1988. The choice of date, March 14th (3/14), corresponds to the first three digits of the mathematical constant π (pi).

Shaw and his colleagues marked the occasion by marching around a circular space and eating fruit pies. The inaugural Pi Day celebration was a playful yet educational event that aimed to engage visitors with the fascinating properties of Pi and promote interest in mathematics.

Over the years, Pi Day gained momentum, spreading beyond the confines of the Exploratorium to educational institutions, mathematical societies, and communities worldwide. Pi Day gained even broader recognition as the internet and social media became more prevalent, with enthusiasts sharing pi-related facts, jokes, and challenges online.

In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution officially designating March 14th as National Pi Day, recognizing its significance in promoting mathematics education and awareness. Since then, Pi Day has become an annual fixture in the calendar, celebrated with enthusiasm and creativity across the globe.

The popularity of Pi Day has led to an expansion of activities and events, including mathematical quizzes, competitions, classroom lessons, and, of course, pie-eating contests. Many organizations use Pi Day as an opportunity to raise funds for educational initiatives and charitable causes related to mathematics and science.

### More Than Mathematical

Beyond its mathematical significance, Pi Day has also become a symbol of intellectual curiosity and the universal language of science. It highlights the interconnectedness of different disciplines and underscores the importance of critical thinking and problem-solving skills in our increasingly complex world.

Moreover, Pi Day serves as a reminder of the enduring influence of ancient mathematical discoveries on modern society. From constructing buildings and bridges to developing advanced technologies, the principles embodied by pi continue to shape our understanding of the physical world and drive innovation across diverse fields.

In essence, National Pi Day is more than just a numerical holiday; it's a celebration of human ingenuity, curiosity, and the boundless possibilities of the mathematical universe. So, whether you're indulging in a slice of pie or pondering the mysteries of the cosmos, take a moment on March 14th to marvel at the wonder of Pi and the profound impact of mathematics on our lives.

### Some interesting facts about Pi Day from Wikipedia

- On Pi Day 2004, Daniel Tammet recited 22,514 decimal digits of Ï€.
- On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224), recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day.
- For Pi Day 2010, Google presented a Google Doodle celebrating the holiday, with the word Google laid over images of circles and pi symbols.
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology often mails its application decision letters to prospective students for delivery on Pi Day.
- Pi has been calculated to be over 1 trillion digits past the decimal.
- The birthday of the renowned physicist Albert Einstein added an extra layer of significance to the day.
- In 2015, Rajveer Meena of Vellore Institute of Technology in India set a Guinness World Record by reciting 70,000 decimal places of pi from memory on Pi Day.
- March 14, 2015 (3/14/15), was dubbed the "Pi Day of the Century" because it corresponded to the first five digits of pi (3.1415).
- NASA often celebrates Pi Day by releasing educational materials, hosting math challenges, and sharing fun facts about pi and its significance in space exploration.
- Some mathematicians celebrate Pi Approximation Day on July 22nd (22/7), corresponding to the fraction 22/7, a common approximation of pi.
- Pilish is a form of constrained writing where the number of letters in each word corresponds to the digits of pi. For example, the first word has three letters, the second has one letter, the third has four letters, and so on.
- Pi Day has been referenced in various forms of popular culture, including TV shows, movies, and books. For example, the TV series "The Big Bang Theory" often featured Pi Day-themed episodes.
- Many communities and schools hold pie-baking contests on Pi Day, where participants create pies with mathematical themes or pi symbols.
- Pi Day is also used as an opportunity to raise funds for charitable causes related to mathematics education and research, with events such as "Pi(e) for Charity" fundraisers.

### Pie Recipes

If you are inclined to prepare a pie today, here are some of my favorite pie recipes on The Reluctant Gourmet:

- Key Lime Pie - is my all-time favorite
- Classic Creamy Pumpkin Pie
- Simple Pecan Pie

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