The Power of Pi(e)

A cooked circle loved worldwide

Rahman Mohamed

Pie with piMarch 14 is considered Pi Day, a celebration mathematics and consumption of a great desert is tasted.  Pi Day (03.14) is celebrated annually as the basic, recognising one of the greatest constants to mathematicians.  True Pi Day may not be celebrated until 3141, May 9 (3.14159), on March 14, 15926.  It may have been celebrated on 3.141592653, May 14, 1592, 6:53 (am or pm).  Pi Day won’t come until March 14 next year if you choose to read it at 2 decimals (3.14), 1:59.26 (am), if it’s read at 7 decimal places.  There’s more to pi than the decimals.

Pi is a mathematical constant; no matter the size of the circle, if you divide the circumference (aka the perimeter/line that makes the circle) by the diameter (a straight line that divides the circle in half) the answer will be pi.  In Ontario it’s found early in high school math used to calculate a circle’s area and circumference.  It’s a constant used constantly in physics and math – how a bridge should be made, arc of a dome, size of a planet, orbit of earth, anything you can think of that moves.  To find out how far inside the sap used to make the maple syrup is the circumference of a tree is divided by pi.  It’s also used in cars and balls.

Whether it was first calculated by ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, some other ancient people, or given to humans as a gift by non-humans, the number that never changes is still used today; even though food has changed the number hasn’t.  Pie plates, the tool pie-makers use to make pies, are made by using pi.  A computer quickly uses pi and the circumference (how big the pie should be) to define the dimensions of the pie, send the numbers to the manufacturing machine that slides out multiple plates created using pi so multiple pies can be manufactured.

To celebrate Pi ALL Geeks eat pie on Pi day – the biologists that use pi to calculate the size of a brain, the chemists that use pi to find how big a test tube they should use, the geologists studying the Earth’s core using pi, and the social scientists studying the effects of pi and pie but let the computers using software written by other geeks do the math for them.


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