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What Is Pi?

Learn what the number pi means using a simple arts-and-crafts project. Then find out why you’ll want to celebrate this newfound knowledge on March 14.

By
Jason Marshall, PhD,
Episode #097

What Is Pi Day?

Believe it or not, that’s pretty much all there is to pi. You might even say that understanding the origin of the number pi is as easy as—wait for it—pie (sorry, I couldn’t resist at least one bad pun). But in truth that’s not really all there is to pi. In fact, there are other ways to think about the definition of pi, and there are a ton of other places where pi sometimes rather mysteriously shows up in the world of math. Which means there’s plenty of additional pi for us to look forward to enjoying in the future.

Finally, in case you haven’t heard, there’s a big holiday for math enthusiasts coming up. As we’ve literally seen in our arts-and-crafts project today, the value of pi is approximately equal to 3.14. If you get a bit creative and turn this number into a date, you get March 14. Which is why every March 14 math enthusiasts around the world gather together across the interwebs to celebrate and enjoy some pi. And the good news is that everybody is invited to celebrate in whatever way moves them. You can find out more at the official pi day home at http://www.piday.org.

Wrap Up

Okay, that’s all the math we have time for today. Remember to become a fan of the Math Dude on Facebook where you’ll find a new featured number or math puzzle posted every weekday. And if you’re on Twitter, please follow me there too. Finally, if you have math questions, feel free to send them my way via Facebook, Twitter, or by email at mathdude@quickanddirtytips.com.

Until next time, this is Jason Marshall with The Math Dude’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Make Math Easier. Thanks for reading, math fans!

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