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Camosun celebrates Pi Day

Pi Day on March 14, 2022

pi day
Pi Day is fun to recognize on March 14 each year.
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Sunday March 13, 2022 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC

By Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends


Pi Day is celebrated on March 14! What is Pi and why has it been puzzling mathematicians for thousands of years?

That’s what Camosun College is bringing up for discussion, in the celebration of Pi Day by their Mathematics & Statistics Department.

Famous number:

Often represented with the lower-case Greek letter ‘π’ (which is the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet), Pi is one of the most famous numbers in the world and represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

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Although Pi has been approximated as the decimal 3.14 or the fraction 22/7, it is an example of an irrational number which has an infinite number of decimal places without any repeating patterns.

Named for the perimeter:

The letter ‘pi’ is the first letter in the Greek word perimitros, which means perimeter.

If you think of a circle as never ending, there is a wonderful connection to the mystery of Pi. The unique number is recognized symbolically on the 14th day of the third month, representing the first three digits of Pi.

It is celebrated in countries that follow the month/day (m/dd) date format, because the digits in the date, March 14 or 3/14, are the first three digits of π (3.14).

greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet, with English equivalents.
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Math is everywhere:

“Math is everywhere. Pi occurs in many areas of mathematics from circles to cryptography,” explains Dr. Patrick Montgomery, Chair of Mathematics & Statistics at Camosun College. “Pi has captured the attention of people for millennia as they try to calculate it and further understand its significance.”

Learn more about mathematics and statistics courses offered by the School of Arts and Science at Camosun including University Transfer Math.

Celebrated since 1988:

The idea of Pi Day originated with physicist Larry Shaw, who organized the first Pi Day celebration at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988. Almost exactly twenty-one years later, on March 11, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution proclaiming March 14 to be National Pi Day.

According to the Time and Date website, for fun there can be ‘Pi approximation’ days. Some of these are:

  • March 4: The day marks the passing of 14% of the 3rd month of the year.
  • April 5: By this day, 3.14 months of the year have passed.
  • November 10: The 314th day of the year (November 9 in leap years).

About Camosun College:

Camosun College has two campuses, both located in Saanich, BC on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.

Established in 1971, Camosun College serves thousands of learners each year in over 160 programs: certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree, post-degree diploma, and professional studies and industry training.

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