the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

14
March

National Pi (3.14159265) Day

Posted by Brittany

piCalculus BC was my favorite class during my senior year of high school. I know, that probably makes me a geek, but partway into my freshman geometry class I fell in love with Math. And as time went by, I progressed from a mediocre math student, to tying for the highest grade in the most advanced math class offered in my 3,000+ student school. In fact, I aced my AP exam, earning eight college credits, and wound up only taking one math course to fulfill my general education requirements at James Madison University. Looking back, I wish I’d considered taking more math classes in college, or even minoring in mathematics, but at least my ease with algebra came in handy for my audiology studies. It never ceases to surprise me, but I still use a lot of math in my work today. I’ve had to do some number crunching to calculate discounts, commissions, and margins, and everything is just a little bit easier when you know how to solve for x.

I remember sitting in my eighth grade algebra class, before I’d developed my finesse for the maths, watching the Walt Disney mini classic¬†Donald in Mathmagic Land. The short cartoon really left an impression on me, and I still remember Donald Duck delving into the mathematics behind music as he learned about octaves, and traveling to ancient Greece to meet Pythagorus. The Academy Award nominated short film helped spark my love for math, and really drove home the point that math is intertwined in nature, and even in our history. Unfortunately, the film did make one error — an animated bird recited the value of Pi as “3.141592653589747, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera”, when it is actually “3.141592653589793….”

To celebrate National Pi day (always on 3/14, since pi is 3.14….) Chris and I borrowed the 1998 Darren Aronofsky film Pi from my parents’ movie collection. The strange black-and-white thriller tells the story of a troubled mathematician obsessed with his pursuit to discover the number that he believes will unlock the natural patterns of the universe. The film was definitely interesting, and something about the style and sound of the voice-overs kept reminding me of Fight Club, which was made just one year later. Still, I think my sweet tooth would have preferred to celebrate this holiday with the adorable chocolate pi favors our friends Vicky and Ryan had at their beautiful science and nature themed wedding last year. ¬†That was the best tasting math I’ve ever had!

Hopefully my sweet tooth can wait just one more day — tomorrow is National Pears Helene Day!

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