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Tuesday 14 March 2017

Pi Day

By measuring circular objects, it has always turned out that a circle is a little more than 3 times its width around. In the Old Testament of the Bible (1 Kings 7:23), a circular pool is referred to as being 30 cubits around, and 10 cubits across. The mathematician Archimedes used polygons with many sides to approximate circles and determined that Pi was approximately 22/7. The symbol (Greek letter) was first used in 1706 by William Jones. A ‘p’ was chosen for ‘perimeter’ of circles, and the use of Pi became popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737. In recent years, Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits past its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, Pi will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. Only 39 digits past the decimal are needed to accurately calculate the spherical volume of our entire universe, but because of Pi’s infinite and patternless nature, it’s a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.
Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.
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 entire month of March 2014 (3/14) was observed by some as "Pi Month". In the year 2015, Pi Day had special significance on 3/14/15 (mm/dd/yy date format) at 9:26:53 a.m. and also at p.m., with the date and time representing the first 10 digits of Pi. Pi Day of 2016 is also significant because its mm/dd/yy represents pi rounded to the first five digits.
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Tuesday 14 March 2017
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