EVENTSPi Day: History, Celebration and Facts & Figures

Maureen SantosMarch 14, 2019647 min

Pi Day is generally celebrated on March 14 which is a yearly affair of the mathematical sign Pi (π). Physicist Larry Shaw established the event on that date due to the numerical value (3.14) outlining the first 3 digits of Pi.


Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. The diameter of the circle is the expanse from one side to its other side with a straight line that measures the distance moving through its central point. The circumference is the distance around the circle.

Since the middle of the 18th century, Pi has been depicted by the Greek letter π. The word itself stemmed from the first letter of the Greek word “perimetros”, meaning circumference.

Pi Symbol (pixabay/tremara1)

Pi is used to obtain the circumference of the circle. Likewise, it could obtain the circle’s area, including the surface area and volume of a cylinder, cone, and sphere. Whatever is the size of the circle, Pi remains constant.

It has been computed to more than one trillion digits apart from its decimal point. Being an irrational figure, it will carry on infinitely with no recurrence or configuration.

Short History

Pi dates back to the Old Testament when Solomon launched a massive vessel with definite dimensions of 30 cubits high and 10 cubits across. This is considered an initial credential to the ratio that was later known as Pi. During the 3rd century BC, Archimedes made use of polygons to come close to the measurement of Pi which was precise to two decimal places. On the 18th century, Pi was written as a moniker and credited to William Jones in 1706. It was then made popular in 1737 by Leonhard Euler.

Pi Day Celebration

The initial Pi Day celebration happened at the Exploratorium. It is an interactive science museum based in San Francisco where Shaw had worked. The event highlighted a circular parade and eating of fruit pies. Every year, the revelry grew bigger with webcasts and a virtual party in an online virtual world, Second Life. It became an official national holiday when the US House of Representatives passed the HRES 224 bill on March 12, 2009.

This year also marks the 140th celebration of Albert Einstein’s birthday. The genius scientist lived in Princeton where he had worked at the Institute for Advanced Study. To commemorate him, an Einstein look-alike contest is always conducted.

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879. (flickr/Amador Loureiro)

Scientists, mathematicians, and teachers expect that Pi Day will help build interest in Science and Math across the nation. This could be achieved through museum exhibitions, pie-eating or pie-throwing contests, academic teachings, and others.

Facts and Figures

Stephen Hawking died on March 14, 2018. (WikimediaCommonsNASA/Kim Shiflett)
  • Stephen Hawking died on the same day that Albert Einstein was born – March 14.
  • On March 14, 2015, Pi Day enthusiasts had a one-of-a-kind treat at exactly 9:26:53 a.m. It is the numerical date along with the time that represented the first 10 digits of Pi which is 3.141592653.
  • In the mm-dd-yy date format of March 14, 2015, it would be written as 3-14-15. This is the initial 5 notable digits of Pi which is 3.1415.
  • Shigeru Kondo, 56 years old and a Japanese systems engineer was successful in estimating the value of Pi to 10 trillion digits.
  • Princeton, New Jersey celebrates Pi Day and Einstein’s birthday at the same time.
  • Other Pi Day birthday celebrants include actors Michael Caine and Billy Crystal, Apollo 8 astronaut Frank Borman, composer Johann Strauss, and music producer Quincy Jones.


Maureen Santos

She lets everyone become aware of what is happening to our beloved planet Earth and its inhabitants. She can take you beyond the space and find out how neighbor planets are doing. Moreover, she would open your eyes to the things what makes the Earth suffer including the living species and allow you to decide what you can do to help save the planet and the future generation.

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