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Friday, March 13, 2015

3.14.15: How to Celebrate the Greatest Pi Day of the Century

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 10:14 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

Math nerds and cobbler gobblers, unite! Pi Day, the annual celebration of everyone's favorite mathematical constant, is this Saturday, 3/14/15. And this year, it's more auspicious than ever: 3, 1, 4, 1, and 5 correspond not only to the date, but also to the first five digits of pi. The ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, pi has been known to humans for thousands of years but has only recently earned its own holiday.

There are many ways, both mathematical and gastronomical, to celebrate Pi Day, so turn up this mood music (composed using chromatic tones that correspond to pi's sequence) and get ready to go wild. 

The obvious place to kick off the festivities is the hallowed ground where Pi Day started: the Exploratorium. For the second Pi Day in its new location, the Exploratorium will host a day of pi-themed tomfoolery, including a pizza pie dough toss. They'll also have a meet-and-greet with Pi Day founder Larry Shaw, a physicist known as the Prince of Pi, who organized the first celebration in 1988. In an extra-geeky twist, Einstein's birthday also falls on March 14 — naturally, he'll be celebrated at the Exploratorium's event as well. Not to be outdone, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View will also be paying homage to pi by offering themed activities and free admission at or before 9:26am

Those with above average enthusiasm for transcendent ratios should head to the SoMa StrEat Food Park for Ask a Scientist's Pi Day Puzzle Party, where musician and puzzle ninja Wes Carroll will host a battle of math and logic problems. Teams of up to 6 people can enter to vie for first place and the chance to choose the puzzles for next year's contest. Who would deny the chance to be raised to that power? 

But if you'd rather see pi appear on a restaurant bill than in an equation, have no fear. Both Mission Pie and Chile Pies will be serving up slices for $3.14 on Saturday. The price applies to all pies at Mission Pie, while at Chile Pies it applies just to the Mexican chocolate pecan pie, though we're not complaining. Folio Books in Noe Valley is taking things one sequence further by hosting a Pi Day potluck and math trivia contest. It's BYOP — bring your own pie, of course. 

The next time 3/14/15 comes around, we might have all-knowing chips in our brains that can calculate pi to the trillionth decimal like this super-computer. So let this March 14 be an excuse to act irrational — just like pi. 


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Sarah Stodder

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