Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy (Belated) Pi Day!

Yesterday was "National Pi Day" -- March 14 (3.14). It has been declared by the U.S. House of Representatives as a way to introduce children and adults to the wonders of math and science (HR 224, in 2009). Pi is one of the most widely used mathematical constants in science and engineering, but only a relatively small fraction of the general public knows of its significance (perhaps beyond the circumference of a circle being pi times its diameter).

In honor of Pi day, I thought I'd introduce you to a website dedicated to your favorite mathematical concept: Pi! The wife of one of my favorite professors at Cal, Alex Filippenko, created a website designed an educational and entertaining website,, in order to promote National Pi Day as a day to celebrate the fun facts, trivia, and uses of pi.

From an email I received from Alex:

The site has various videos, interactive games, and even pi-related t-shirts –- everything a person needs to celebrate pi. Moreover, you can enter to win an iPad (whichshe calls a "Pi-Pad") or t-shirts; click on the "Play" button, or "like" piZone on Facebook. (No purchase is necessary to win.)

The website is her social mission, and it was created as a crowd-source resource. Under the "pi it forward" program, $3.14 from every t-shirt sale goes to provide a pi-related t-shirt to a K-12 teacher.

I invite you to visit the website or Facebook (piZone) and help share the pi.

Check out the site, it's pretty pi-tastic! And, because I can't resist, in honor of Pi day, my favorite Pi riddle:
Question: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
Answer: Pumpkin Pi!

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