How BYU is celebrating Pi day

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For some, 3.14159265 is as delicious as a oven baked treat.

Today, the BYU Math Department will overtake Brigham Square and celebrate Pi Day, putting an end to the notion that math is boring and proving that the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is worthy of an afternoon of games, prizes and excessive puns.

According to Robin Roundy, a professor in BYU’s Department of Mathematics, the math community loves having fun and sharing that fun with others.

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Pi Day t-shirts celebrate March 14, or 3.14.
Pi day will live up to Roundy’s word with events including pie eating contests, pie-ing the professors, Buffon’s needle, free food, Plinko machines and lots of other fun games and ways for students to celebrate.

Roundy volunteered to take part in his first pie-the-professor experience and assuming he is voted in, his face will be a pie target. Despite the fear that some may have of being pied in the face, Roundy said he wasn’t fazed.

“Why should I be scared of a tasty treat?” Roundy said.

“There will also be a ‘piku’ contest, which offers students the opportunity to create their best haikus about pi and a chance to win prizes,” said Melissa Neary, event coordinator for Pi Day.

The day of celebration takes place on the 14th from noon until 2 p.m. and is open to all students looking to have fun.

“We picked the day not only because it’s Albert Einstein’s birthday, but also because it corresponds with the numbers of pi,” said Michelle Drennan, a student from Michigan who is involved with marketing for Pi Day.

The first six digits of this tasty ratio are three, one, four, one, five and nine, which correspond to the day and time of celebration. There will also be a countdown until 1:59, meaning it will be the third month, 14th day, and one minute and 59 seconds.

Another highlight of the event will be a competition to see which student can recite the greatest number of pi digits. Last year Reese Peterson recited just over an impressive 800 digits. Although an amazing feat, students will have to work hard to fight the current world record of more than 67,000.

“It’s just a really fun way to have some fun during the school day,” Neary said. “Students should just drop by, play some games, win some prizes and watch professors get pied.

Students can also purchase official pi T-shirts from the Math Department for only $5. The shirts feature a creative logo containing pi’s digits, which students may find useful for upcoming math exams.

Voting for the professors who will be pied is taking place in the Math Lab in the Talmage Building and will run up until 5 p.m. on March 13 and ‘pikus’ need to be submitted to the Math Department by march 10.

The BYU Math Department has held this event since 2007, and they are hoping this year’s event will be even more successful than past events.

For more information and event details, students can visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/byu.math or the math department’s website at math.byu.edu/home/node/298.

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