Happy Pi Day

March 14th, or 3/14 is Pi Day!

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference (the whole length around) to its diameter (distance across the middle, from one edge to the other). It’s the same value – 3.14159….. – for every single circle, no matter how large or small. It’s one of nature’s constant mathematical values, and goes on forever without ever repeating itself.

Mathematician Steven Strogatz puts pi’s significance quite eloquently:

The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. Even young children get this. The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random—except that they can’t possibly be random, because they embody the order inherent in a perfect circle. This tension between order and randomness is one of the most tantalizing aspects of pi.

Outside the classroom, pi plays an important role in engineering, processing sound waves and radar, flight navigation, and much more. Three (point one four) cheers for math!

How many digits of pi do you know? Test your knowledge with this Sporcle game.