Not just mathematicians and rocket scientists, National Pi Day is celebrated across the U.S. by students, teachers and science enthusiasts.

The day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/date format to represent the value of Pi) every year to provide an opportunity for math enthusiasts to discuss the infinite digits of Pi. March 14 is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Mathematics.

What is Pi?

Pi, also written π, is the ratio of a circle's circumference (the distance around it) to its diameter (the distance across it). The symbol π was first used by William Jones in 1706.

Pi is predominantly used for answering questions related to circular or spherical objects. For thousands of years, it has been known that a circle is a little over three times its width (hence 3.14159). Pi is a "constant number" and will always remain the same for any circle of any size.

Pi can be calculated to more than 50 trillion digits beyond its decimal point. Being an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without any pattern or repeating itself. Pi's infinite nature has turned it into a fun challenge to memorize record-breaking numbers or compute more and more digits.

History of Pi Day

Pi has come up in almost every mathematical equation, right from elementary school to the university level. The celebration of Pi Day first started on March 14, 1988, at the San Francisco Exploratorium, when physicist Larry Shaw organized an event with the aim of making mathematics fun and relatable for people. During the celebration, participants consumed fruit pies while math teachers taught the potential benefits of pi to students.

In 2009, the U.S. Congress officially declared March 14 as National Pi Day. The same year, UNESCO named Pi Day as the "International Day of Mathematics" at its 40th general conference.

In addition, notable physicist and mathematician Albert Einstein was also born on March 14 in 1879.

How to celebrate Pi Day

There are a number of fun-filled activities you can do to celebrate Pi Day with your peers:

1. Memorise pi digits: You can organize a competition among friends and family to see who can remember the most digits of pi. Here are the first 20 decimal points of pi. Let's see how much you can remember.

Pi= 3.14159265358979323846

2. Make some Pi Day art: Teachers can organize a Pi Day art contest for students to celebrate the occasion. The contest can include pi-inspired dice, paper chairs and card games.

3. Organize pie/pizza party: Another Pi Day tradition includes treating yourself and your students to circular-shaped foods such as pizzas, pancakes and pies of all types.

pi day
Pi Day is an official celebration of the mathematical constant π, also represented by the number 3.14. Wikipedia Commons