Pi Day is an official day designated by the U.S. Congress
to honor STEM programs and learning. Unofficially, it is a day where math teachers across the world pitch why math is cool to students, mostly with bribes of pizza and apple pies. Written out in month-day format, March 14th mimics the fractional form of pi (3/14), the mathematical constant for the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter.
Pi is an irrational number, meaning that it can be calculated into infinity. Google
employee, Emma Haruka Iwao
, used this Pi day to break the record for the number of digits that have been calculated for Pi, reaching 31 trillion digits of pi using cloud computing
. Rajveer Meena holds the record for reciting the most digits of Pi, memorizing up to the 70,000th decimal place.
The history of pi is a long and storied one. Back in the 18th century Euler
was the first to symbolize that relationship through the Greek letter π, though mathematicians have used the concept since Babylonian times. The relationship is central to calculating curves which is fundamental to the basis of calculus, the curvy side of mathematics dealing with the world of continuous change.
People have become so captivated with Pi that a whole language called Pilish was invented in honor of the constant. In Pilish, each word of a sentence must match a digit of pi. Since pi is 3.14159…, the first word of every sentence in Pilish must have three letters, followed by one letter, followed by four letters, into infinity.
Among other Pi day related facts, Albert Einstein was born in Germany on March 14th, 1879, and Steven Hawkings died on the mathematically fortuitous day last year.