Pi Day has become more than just a celebration for teachers and math nerds—fast food joints, chefs, politicians, auto repair shops, and even the National Hockey League have found ways to get in on the advertising, err, action.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) March 14, 2017
— Gunnell’s Tire (@GunnellsTire) March 14, 2017
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) March 14, 2016
Pi Day is held each March 14 to honor π, the constant used to represent the ratio of the circumference a circle to its diameter, or approximately 3.14. (It’s not to be confused with National Pie Day, held each Jan. 23 to honor my personal favorite dessert.)
And while this year’s Pi Day isn’t quite as exciting as the one two years ago on 3/14/15—when at 9:26:53am, the clock aligned to represent the first 10 digits of pi—it is still a notable one. This year marks the 30th annual celebration of Pi Day.
Larry Shaw, a physicist working at the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, organized the first official Pi Day in 1988. (So yes, it’s been celebrated 30 times, but you might also say this is really only the holiday’s 29th birthday.) The museum is marking the occasion with free entry today and "π-themed activities, rituals, antics, and plenty of pie,” according to the website.
It’s worth noting that the day also coincides with Albert Einstein’s birthday. This year, he would have been 138.
See also: A Pi Day for the Ages
Image: CurvyMama Pies
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.