March 14

It comes every year on this day.  March 14.  It’s better known as Pi Day.

I can remember first learning about Pi.  3.14 or 22/7 was good enough to solve the problems presented in class.  And, beyond that, why would you want to learn more?

Then, I had a real mathematics geek who got us more excited and encouraged us to learn more about Pi and to memorize more than just two digits of decimal places.  So, I went as far as 3.1415926.

The game changed with the calculator and this magic button.

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And, of course, your favourite programming language has a value of pi built into it.  Have you ever wondered to how many digits of accuracy?

The worlds best URL is located at “http://3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592.com/

The website is called Pi to 1,000,000 places.  Visiting and actually finding the million digits are two different things but hey…

Or, cheat and visit this site.

And get a poster here.

Or, write your own program.

I’ve been keeping track of interesting things about Pi for a long time.  The current collection is here.  I supposed collecting links for this is irrational but it keeps me occupied and I enjoy solving the challenges and read that there are so many mathematicians fascinated by documenting their experiences.

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It’s a shame that Pi Day appears during the March Break.  But, you could always celebrate when the students come back or, get ahead of the game, like Alice Aspinall did.

Update 2018 

Kyle Pearce spent some time at Walkerville Collegiate before the March Break to celebrate.

And, of course, I’ve tucked away even more stories about Pi in the Flipboard references to above.  Knowing me, I’ll probably continue to do so all day today.  You can’t have enough of this stuff.  22/7 indeed.

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3 thoughts on “March 14

  1. Doug, I tweeted out a comment, but then I thought that I should reply here. Your post is making me wonder what “Pi Day learning” could happen at home. My Kindergarten students, along with the majority of elementary ones (until Grade 8), might not be exploring the formula and 3.14, but could we explore circles more? Could we use non-standard tools to try and determine area? I wonder if just a better understanding of circles might help children as they eventually investigate Pi. I’m not sure exactly what this “better understanding” looks like, as I haven’t even had coffee yet :), but it’s something I’m going to think about today. We always speak about the importance of parents getting involved in their child’s learning, and maybe Pi Day at home provides the perfect opportunity to do so. Could Pi Day on March Break actually be a good thing?

    Aviva

  2. You have to eat pie on Pi day. We had mini quiches for supper. The boys had one memorable teacher who always had a pi day party. They worked on circle geometry, and some memorized digits for a competition, and then everyone brought some kind of pie to share. I distinctly remember putting the pi symbol in whipping cream on a chocolate cream pie! I think, Aviva, that you could talk with kinders (at home or school), about circles. Why are pies round? How many pieces can you get out of the circle. I’m all about the food!

  3. How did I miss this last year? Once again, getting ready to have our school-wide Pi Day celebration in March and always looking to improve it. Thanks for including us in your post, Doug!

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