In Algebra, many students learn about π, or the symbol representing 3.14159. Every math student learns the importance of π at some point in their educational career, but it is more than a way to figure out the circumference of a circle; it is the focus of a “holiday.” Pi Day is celebrated worldwide and at Malone March 14 (3.14). This is the second year that the Malone’s math club will celebrate Pi Day.
The math club will celebrate Pi Day by selling raffle tickets in the cafeteria. The raffle tickets allow Malone students to smash a pie in the face of select professors and faculty. Additionally, 25% of all ticket sales will benefit Refuge of Hope, a local men’s homeless shelter.
“I like that we can raise awareness of the holiday. I’m going to be a math teacher, so I want to celebrate it in my classroom,” said Anna Johnson, senior math education major and math club president.
Not only does the holiday give a fun way for math students to celebrate a math oriented holiday, but it also raises awareness for the Malone math club. The club currently has 10 members, and having events help to increase the club’s size.
The Pi Day celebration is also necessary to the program because the math club needs funding. Every organization at Malone has to raise funds to keep the program running, and pieing professors is the perfect solution.
Outside Pi Day, the math club hosts monthly events including bowling, crafts and life-size Sudoku.
Grace Berry, community and public health major, is a member of the math club.
“It’s a great opportunity to spend time with other students. I’ve realized that there are other things to math than geometry and proofs,” said Berry.
Math club is open to all majors and meets at 10:15 a.m. every Thursday. Cookies and milk are offered at each meeting.
The first Pi Day was celebrated in 1988 by Larry Shaw at the San Francisco Exploratorium, which is a public learning laboratory. Pi Day has been celebrated in many different ways including eating pie, throwing pie and other pie related celebrations. In addition to pie festivities, other places in the United States celebrate Pi Day in their own special way.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) celebrates by delivering application decision letters to students who have applied to the school on Pi Day. Applications are sent out on this day to celebrate the rivalry between pi and tau. It is referred to as “Tau Time” as the decisions are released at 6:28 p.m. (double of 3.14). Tau is double pi, and many mathematicians prefer to use tau as some equations using pi require doubling it.
Princeton, N.J. hosts different events in a combined celebration of Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, both of which are March 14. Festivities include pie eating contests and an Einstein look-alike contest.
Andrew Currier is a guest writer for The Aviso.