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MIT student blogger Bryan O. '07

Happy Pi Day!!! by Bryan



How many digits do you know?

More to come later today about how MIT celebrates Pi Day.

How do you celebrate Pi Day?


Update (PI/2007 5:35 PM)

So this year, the Undergraduate Math Association sponsored a Pi Day Celebration of sorts.

This was the email I received advertising the event.


This Wednesday, 3/14 at 5pm in room 2-102, the UMA is celebrating
our favorite constant in style with the following events:
Pie baking contest
Pi recitation
Pi history
Pie eating contest
“Pi or not” contest

There’s also free pie for everyone! And, you can pick up a coveted
UMA Pi Day T-shirt.

See you there!

Tonight, Eta Kappa Nu (a course 6 Honors Society) will be hosting an additional event.

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
A: Pumpkin pi.

Don’t forget to celebrate Pi Day (3/14) TODAY! Stop by the Student Center 5th Floor lounge at 8pm for free punch and pie!

– – HKN Social Committee

A few pictures and videos from the event:

And a video (Disclaimer: It’s big)

And since I’m such a fan of Pi apparently, I made a few news appearances for Pi Day:

Associated Press
ABC News


100 responses to “Happy Pi Day!!!”

  1. Adam S. says:

    Happy Pi day everyone! I know 13 digits of Pi, but maybe today I’ll make it a point to learn up to digit 20.

  2. Anonymous says:

    π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π π

  3. Hopeful says:

    I know 4 digits (shame, too). By the way, in my part of the world theres no such thing as pi day. That’s probably why I know only 4! :(

  4. Susan says:

    I feel silly, memorizing pi from the number above. I’ve gotten to 3.141592653589793238 so far.

  5. anonymous says:


    i think i missed something somewhere

  6. dale says:

    pi can also be the probability for a population

  7. first post 100 digits and thank ya… same to you

  8. Karin says:

    26 digits…
    Not horrible =P
    It’s not Pi day yet where I live!

  9. Monica says:

    we are going to have a contest in my math class on who can memorize the most numbers in pi, so far i’ve only gotten to 13, not good =(

  10. Basant says:

    3 digits (shame!!!!).

    Anyways, Happy Pi Day and Happy B’day to Albert Einstein!

  11. AJ says:

    I’m eating Pie right now in my Calc II class.

    …Just got blueberry on the mac. (It might be for the better!)

  12. Nick says:

    Awesome I know about 5 digits. Our math classes usually celebrate by eating round stuff; pizza, cupcakes, pie… etc. I can’t believe some people know thousands of digits. There was a news story about this autistic guy that taught himself to overcome his autism so now hes basically just the sevant part and can remember loads of stuff he reads so i think he knows pi to somewhere in the tens of thousands.

  13. AJ says:

    Also, PI is exactly 3.

  14. Lendz says:

    Im celebrating it by proving 1+e^ipi=0. Im also scheduled to give a lecture to all who will listen at the math club (considering im the president)

    I know pi to about 46 digits. However, i prefer to get into the spirit of math, thus… i dont memorize, i derive! so i derive pi when needed, and have gotten it up to 1532 digits by hand!!!!

    all hail math nerds!

    Im curently writing ablog on it too, come on over and have a look later today! and if you have any suggestions, email me @ [email protected]

    symple, Lendz, my name, the first three numbers, at… who could wish for a better email… well… @ sounds better… actually… wouldnt mind that one…

  15. Snively says:

    I am so ready for pi day! 3 more hours here on teh west coast but I’ve already got my black Pi shirt (that I bought in the MIT museum) set out for tomorrow!

    I’ve got pi to 21 digits. . .

  16. Mariah says:

    At my school we have Pi(e) eating contests and we get to throw Pi(e)s at teachers, counselors, and administrators. In Geometry they get to take in any food that is round and they do calculations on it before they eat it (How I miss Pi Day in geometry! The calculus teacher is somehow too good for it Pi Day.). My favorite part of pie day, however, are the hallways magically developing polka-dots. We also celebrate Mole day, but that is somehow not as much fun.

  17. Nicole says:

    my friends and I are bringing pies into our physics class..can you believe none of them have ever heard of pi day?! We’ve had a countdown going for months, and we’re even announcing it on the morning announcements! woooo

  18. jenn says:

    i know 9 digits because that’s how many it shows on my calculator. i have a friend who has pi on a piece of paper taped onto the back of her planner, and she tries to memorize it during chapel.

    i’m really depressed this year because we don’t have math tomorrow (it’s still the 13th here), though we just had a test today on taylor and mclaurin series, yay! smile

  19. Snively says:

    Anouncements! Brilliant! I’ll make sure to do that tomorrow. . .

    “Good morning Sprague High School, these are your daily anouncements for Wednesday, March 14th, a regular Pi Day schedule.”

  20. JL says:

    We’re on spring break right now, so we celebrated pi day last friday, our calculus teacher made sure we made a big deal out of it (we had shirts, competitions, and lots, lots of food).

  21. Lendz says:

    sorry, forgot to post the link,

    I actually found that it was albert einstiens birthday two days ago, and in my jappanese class i was absolutely invigorated to here it was white day… sad though… the professor brought marshmellows, i highly dislike them… so i gave mine to a random girl… dont think that was a wize decision now…

    So, technichally… pi day begins (IF I were to be technichal)

    on march (3) 14, at the first (1) hour of the (5) minute of the (2) second

    so as of march 14, at 1:05.02 Pi day officially began!!!!

    (the weeks were skipped, so that kind of screws this alittle over…)


    what do you think the parties will look like on march 14, in the year 15926?


    how do you think the romans and surviving greeks partied on march 14, 159 at 2:06.05 AM?

  22. KT says:

    The math team at our high school makes square pies on pi day. smile

  23. JJP says:

    About the sevant guy who had autism – It took him about 5 hours to recite all the digits of pi that he knew. He kept going at a steady pace for the whole 5 (possibly 5+) hours without skipping a beat.

  24. Ashesh says:

    Same to you man!
    How am I going to celebrate this day? Well, I’m going to fiddle with some math today… :-D

    Boy, one has to think; where would we be if it weren’t for our little friend π!!

    We all love you π! tongue laugh

  25. Awet says:

    Happy Pi day everyone!! In physics, my teacher played the Pi song; it’s a song that repeats the digits of Pi over and over.

  26. Anonymous says:

    very interesting when i found this… kind of like i got a kick out of that one too…

  27. Jenny says:

    I know up to that same digit, Bryan. Creepy.

    I usually don’t do anything but tell people it’s Pi Day and be a general math nerd. But we have math team so it’s going to be exciting times!

  28. bhushan says:

    3.14 r there ne digit beside this

  29. Timur Sahin says:

    Last year, I could do 1200. This year, I’d be happy to pull out the first 600…

    Ah, pi…

  30. Saman says:

    If we ( vancouverians ) pull our clocks a little bit ahead then we can say that a full soccer field of persians ( Iranians ) celebrate the PI day with songs and fire. I just came back to my home from there. It was our Chaharshanbeh Suri ( Red Wednesday ). I don’t know if anyone celebrates this tradition in mIT campus. MAybe you can find out, Bryan.

    Well, lets celebrate this specail day by putting some time for measuring Pi by our rulers and compasses and see how precise approximation can we make of.

  31. Carlos R. says:

    For all those yearning hopefuls who wish to memorize just a fraction of the endless decimal places of pi, there’s a nifty song.

    (Warning: it gets a little annoying after the first one hundred digits)

  32. Carlos R. says:

    For all those yearning hopefuls who wish to memorize just a fraction of the endless decimal places of pi, there’s a nifty song.

    (Warning: it gets a little annoying after the first one hundred digits)

  33. Saman says:

    check here about this old tradition ” Chaharshanbe Suri “.

  34. Kristina says:

    We’re bringing pies in and I think some people are baking square pies for calculus =)

  35. JJ says:

    haha,i can remember 100 digits….

  36. Sea says:

    I remember this “pi-day” because of my AP Calculus teacher in my junior year. She always brought pies to her class in order to share them with students while celebrating this day. I should visit her today!!

  37. AJ Singh says:

    How about Phi? Its a bit more than half of Pi.

    Oh, and Happy B’day to that brainy guy with the weird hairstyle who was born a hundred and ten years ago. And yes, his field equations are a bit difficult to understand.

    AJ Singh

  38. Eileen says:

    By skipping calculus! haha

    I only know 3 digits ftl

  39. Sid says:

    “Now I know a super utterance to assist maths.”


  40. Chandresh says:

    I forgot. Someone asked me about pi and we talked for a long while, but I didn’t know today’s date!
    I’ll try to memorize pi today, but I only know the calculator’s display.
    Here’s an app that converts the first ten thousand digits of pi into a musical sequence.

  41. milena says:

    I made pi-shaped cookies!!! And they were awesome. Butter and sugar cookies frosted with chocolate. I handed them out in my calculus class and to my math and science teachers. And I remembered today was also Einstein’s birthday, so I made cookies with the E=mc^2 frosted on them smile

  42. Anonymous says:

    MIT has a history of releasing admission decisions on the pi day..but sinc the last year they have been releasing them on the 17 march.

  43. Jillian says:

    I know 50 digits. I LOVE pi day!!

  44. pi-lover! says:

    Oh my god! Pi day is the BEST holiday ever!! Today, i wore a pi t-shirt, and painted little pi signs on my nails! then, to top it all off we had math team, and guess what we were doing today?? yep, circumference/diameter! it was awesome!!!!! plus, i won our contest in AP calculus today because i knew the most digits of pi- 107 (haha, thats half of 314!!)

  45. Pradeep says:

    By recollecting the historic moments and personalities involved with pi and being awestruck at the beauty of the circle/sphere which finally leads to the infinate universe.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Our math teacher handed out a revised poem of Poe’s Raven. It was a mnemonic. it matched the original story, tone and rhyme scheme fairly closely. it uses 740 words- I think it slightly outdoes above’s mnemonic

  47. Sean M says:

    Our Mu Alpha Theta group put on a big display for Pi Day, we were all stoked about it. The thing that troubles me is if I had to attend a Mu Alpha Theta meeting today :S. Anyways, happy Pi Day to everyone and all fellow math lovers.

  48. Evan says:

    Most people at my school don’t even know what pi day is, so we don’t celebrate it at all. I know about 50 characters.

    Today’s not the only pi day according to Wikipedia, though. Here are some others:
    March 14 (U.S. date system)
    July 22 (European date system)
    November 10 (314th day of the year)
    Wikipedia Link

  49. Sh1fty says:

    happy pi day! i have a few hundred digits of pi on my t-shirt at the moment :D it was made just for this day raspberry i’ll post a picture on my blog as soon as my camera gets back from romania :p have fun wink

  50. Alyssa says:

    my BC calculus class ordrered pies from a local restaurant…too bad it’s second period!

  51. Reg says:

    I completely forgot it was Pi day today!!

    But I knew it was White Day in Japan .__.

  52. Lendz says:

    great song! I have now… hem hem… incorporated it myself! thats great!!!!!


  53. Charlie B says:

    I memorized 141 digits (as in one hundred forty-one, not 3.141) back in 7th grade, and for some reason, I can still recite them today. I should really use that room for something else! smile

  54. Guyomar says:

    We don’t celebrate Pi day here. But romance is in the air. smile

  55. I remember 50 digits :(

  56. Anonymous says:

    Pi-lover! – 107 is half of 314? Do you mean you memorized 157?

  57. Anonymous says:

    Happy Pi Day! Yeah, I only know 12 digits… Usually at our school there’s a whole Pi Day celebration after school, starting at 1:59 PM to be exact, but this year they didn’t do it! Like last week the teachers were negotiating a new contract and were kind of on strike and weren’t allowed to do anything after school, not even stay after to help kids. Some union thing. But yeah, so no Pi Day planned for this year! Though I have to say, I’m more of a chem person so I’m more a fan of Mole Day.

  58. pi-lover says:

    oops! “Anonymous” – yah, your rite 107 isnt half of 314! i meant to write i have 157 digits memorized- (I’m a math geek: i amd good at memorizing pi, NOT TYPING!! hahaha)

    I WISH this day would NEVER END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am still celebrating!!

    what did ppl do @ MIT today?? i’m coming there next year and i am SOOOO EXCITED!!! i CANT WAIT TILL PI DAY NEXT YEAR when i’ll be at MIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. Talking Mora says:

    The answer to Pi is in 104°.

    More clues can be found in Boston.

  60. Anzu says:

    Not good at memorizing numbers but my IB Computer Science teacher brought us pi! ^^

  61. Anonymous says:

    It’s White Day in Japan? I thought that was just in South Korea. A bunch of girls at my school have been pestering guys to buy them candy or chocolate all day. I’m not much of a math geek, but I’d LOVE to celebrate Pi day.

  62. yes my girlfriend said so…. hope you remember her!

  63. Amanda says:

    Its also Einstein’s birthday, so everyone in my physics class made a cake with his face on it… pretty exciting.

  64. anonymous says:

    charlie b-
    considering you’ve remembered the digits for that long, they’re already in your long term memory instead of your short. according to my psych text, long term memory has an infinitely large capacity to store information. therefore, i’m sure you still have plenty of room for all kinds of other sweet facts!!

    go pi!

  65. Grace says:

    I know 45. I’m working on it, I swear! No savant or anything, but oh well.

  66. alex v. says:

    Ha, awesome. My friend’s birthday was on Pi Day. I made her a cake with the symbol “π” in the center and the approximation of it on the circumference of the cake.

  67. kevinfromMA says:

    I needed to memorize 37 for freshman year geometry. My math teacher, was, well, more insane than yours. Proof, you say? Ok. [insert web URL] *Apparently his site’s down, featuring pictures of him test-riding roller coasters, poems we’ve written, pictures of himself that have been in the yearbook, and general allusions to the dozens of geometry related TATTOOS he has on his arms, back, and legs. O_O

    Anyways….since then I only know part of the way into the palindrome (semi-palindrome?)


  68. hihi says:

    I know 30 digits.hihi. but no celebration in my country. ahh

  69. hihi says:

    I know 30 digits.haha. but no celebration in my country smile

  70. Alice says:

    I memorized 100 digits the week before, but didn’t make my goal of 200 digits by Pi Day. My friends were still lamenting my attempts, though, alas. Of course, even some of the non-math nerds among them have pi memorized to 29 digits… We brought in two pies to share during lunch. Our stats class, sadly, did not acknowledge pi day. It greatly saddened me.

  71. Edward says:

    Sheesh, I totally missed Pi day because my school doesn’t do anything for it. Everyone in my class thinks I’m uber-nerdy for knowing 3.141592653589793238462643383279502 but that’s hardly anything compared to some of the other people here! Anyway, this blog post reminds me of that rap by Weird Al, “White and Nerdy”…

    First in my class here at MIT
    Got skills, I’m a champion at D&D
    MC Escher, that’s my favorite MC
    Keep your 40, I’ll just have an Earl Grey tea
    My rims never spin, to the contrary
    You’ll find that they’re quite stationary
    All of my action figures are cherry
    Stephen Hawking’s in my library
    My MySpace Page is all totally pimped out
    Got people begging for my top eight spaces
    Yo, I know Pi to a thousand places

    Do people at MIT play this song a lot? =P

  72. I ain’t a math geek sorry…. I am kinda odd in ya lot but congrats on your memorizing power…….. I never memorized it……… I knew and noted it down.

  73. Elizabeth says:

    We had bumbleberry pie today in math. yum! Plus I got 34/32 on my math test that I didn’t study for. Thanks for telling me not to study, people on MIT chat!

  74. lendz says:

    today, is now, the ides of march.

    let us honour this day to the fullest.

  75. Chandresh says:

    We didn’t discuss properties.
    You all might know about all of these, but here are a few:

    1) pi = average no. of ways in which a randomly selected non-negative integer can be expressed as the sum of squares of integers.
    PROOF: Just check the number of lattice points inside the circle with area sqrt(n) [use two inequalities that converge to the same thing], divide by n, let it tend to infinity and rearrange the equation you get to prove it.

    2) 6 x ( pi ^ (-2)) = prob. that two randomly chosen positive integers are relatively prime = inverse of limit of sum of inverses of squares of positive integers.
    I think there’s a proof on Wikipedia. I had one using the , and limits

    3) (pi – 2)/4 = probability that randomly chosen x, y in interval (0,1) make an obtuse triangle with 1.
    Proof: Let C be a circle with radius 1 and centre O. Interpret the square [0,1]x[0,1] and consider the area of C above y = 1 – x.

    4) pi/4 = 1 – 1/3 + 1/5 – 1/7 + …
    Proof 1: Use the Fourier expansion for the function giving the fractional part of x to prove that
    lim[n to infinity] SUM[a=1 to n][(sin ax)/a] = [pi – x]/2 .
    Alternatively, just differentiate the sum [wrta] and apply DeMv’s Thrm.

    I’ll stop – post shouldn’t be too long and I can’t think of more. pi on four = arctan a half + arctan a third, but everybody knows all about that one.

  76. Scott '10 says:

    I ran into five separate instances of free pie today. It was excellent.

  77. jack says:

    look, a pi sing-along!

  78. jenn says:

    Chandresh, i’m not sure what fourier expansion is, but for #4, that’s the same as using the mclaurin series for inverse tan and letting x= 1.

  79. Rob says:

    25 Digits memorized here… I passed on the celebration today by wearing the Pi shirt and at 1:59 (and 26 seconds) screaming out happy Pi day (had the help of about 10 other people)

  80. mars says:

    its my birthday….hence my love in math is obvious from my day

    btw albert einstein was born on pi day

  81. Josh says:

    It’s my birthday today. Hopefully, I’m accepted, so that i can celebrate my birthday, Einstein’s birthday, and Pi Day at MIT. That would be sweet!

  82. Audrey H. says:

    Ahh pi day, the most anticipated lunch hour activity of the year at my school. Math club started it last year’ we throw pies at teachers and sell slices to students. I made a sweet three stooges sign to advertise. who wants pi? :D

  83. Kelsey says:

    My math teacher is having letting some of his classes memorize places of pi for a few e.c. points. But if you get to one hundred places you join the 100 club and get a cool little pin. Its all about the pride of being in the club. I was the first person in my AP Calculus class to recite to one hundred. (If your really cool you can do it backwards without ever looking at it backwards.) Don’t know if anyone mentioned this but the savant in England recite about 22,500 places and holds the record for only fifth in the world. The actual world record is 43,000 places.

  84. myrafi says:

    i only know 8 digits… i think its the most out of my school tho… sad.

  85. Yuki says:

    112 digits, I broke 100 for pi day this year (I had 150ish back in 8th grade and had since degenerated to about 75).

    Kelsey — that sounds cool about backwards, but I feel like I’d fail that one miserably.

  86. Anonymous says:

    Hey they never aired the part with you in it..

  87. I dressed up.
    Sadly, almost nobody got it. One person stared at me for a while, then asked,
    “So… what does that symbol mean?”

  88. And finally 100th thanks to all who supported me.

  89. Maia says:

    I’ve heard that the best way to memorize pi is to memorize about ten digits and then to just spout random numbers for the next ten minutes until the impressed bystanders get you to shut up. I suppose that technique doesn’t work at MIT……!

    My calc class had a pi party. We had cherry, peach, strawberry, and apple pies, and bagels, and homemade ice cream.