Skip to content ↓
MIT staff blogger Mikey Yang '05

Pi(e) by Mikey Yang '05

No, not π times e.

Yes, I’ll admit that when I first wrote “Pi(e)”, I thought of π times e even though I meant “Pi/Pie”.

Anyways, as Pi Day approaches, I thought I’d put up a post that collects some of the best pi(e) references out there. For those who are awaiting news on Pi Day, I hope this will be a fun diversion for you as you wait. And for those who are not awaiting such news, here are some fun pi(e) references!

From yesterday’s Today’s Big Thing:

And, of course, the Pi Song:

And actually, if you play both of these videos at the same time, you get an interesting little meta-mashup. (Love you, YouTube Doubler!)

One of my colleagues also made an apple pie for the office today and I was going to take a picture of it, but by the time I remembered, it was all gone. Instead, I give you a transcript of the email that was sent this morning:

From: Erin
To: MIT Admissions Office
Subject: Apple Pie
Date: Thurs, March 10, 2011 at 8:52AM

Good morning,

There is delicious apple pie made by Jamilla in the fridge! Please come have a piece!


Edit/update, 3/14/11, ~8pm: Some more great pi(e) references:

A pretty sweet video posted by Corey on Elizabeth’s “Pi-nal Countdown” blog post:

Courtesy of my colleague Ingrid:

Today, for Pi Day, Kris brought in a chocolate cream pie, which was quickly consumed (but at least I got some pictures this time!)

(To the right of the half-eaten pie you’ll also see some homemade Amish friendship bread that Matt brought in, too!)

Here is a picturesque slice cut by Kirsten (my attempt at cutting a piece was awful and too quickly consumed to have been photographed – NOM NOM NOM):

So, feel free to post your favorite pi/pie reference(s) in the comments below and I’ll add them in! Do you have a favorite pi song? Or, you could make your favorite flavor of pie and send in a picture (mine’s pumpkin)! Or you could try making a pie in the shape of pi while singing your favorite pi song and reciting the digits of pi…the possibilities are endless…

33 responses to “Pi(e)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    @comments above me:

    mind = blown

  2. Anonymous says:


    that’s Euler’s identity wink
    he was 22 when he discovered that, so don’t worry: there should still be some time left for you to go :-D

  3. Anonymous says:

    Haha well I knew they were from Euler’s identity, but I’d never seen those particular manipulations of it. :3

  4. Jo says:

    @Saurabh winrar.. nooo just use your browser.

  5. Anonymous says:

    e^π – π ≠ 20^π+-+π&sourceid=Mozilla-search

    e^π – π ≈ 20

  6. My favorite pi reference/allusion/keepsake-:


    and yes I repeat, MIT!

  7. Ryan Landay says:

    Sorry, Wolfram|Alpha is temporarily unavailable. Please try again.
    Error: DataPacletFilter: Unable to get Connection Cannot create PoolableConnectionFactory (Communications link failure Last packet sent to the server was 0 ms ago.)

  8. Norah says:

    When someone mentions something I am not familiar with, I look it up. I feel like there’s so much to learn, so much to discover, yet not enough time to accomplish everything I want. Does anyone feel the same way?

  9. Sam Macaluso says: This comic seems appropriate for this conversation.

  10. Mikey says:

    @Sam – lol

    @Sam – lol

    <3 WolframAlpha.

  11. David L. says:

    If you take the geekiest numbers in the world (42 and pi) and divide them by each other (42/pi), you get another geeky number: 13.37 (leet, for those who can’t read it.)

  12. MG '15 says:

    on the interval [0, 1], ∫4/(1+x^2) = π

  13. MG '15 says:

    on the interval [0, 1], ∫4/(1+x^2) dx = π

    ..whoops forgot the dx

  14. JV says:

    4(1-1/3+1/5-1/9+1/11-1/13+…)= π

  15. JV says:

    Just looked up pi in wikipedia and learned a bunch of interesting properties!

    We’re all suffering from pimania.

  16. Pavel says:

    Pi is beautiful, even in musical form.

    Many thanks to Mr. Linday. I had never seen Euler’s identity manipulated that way before. That first step got me thinking. With the help of that, a TI-84, wolframalpha, a blank sheet of paper, and some time I figured out why Euler’s identity works and how to raise numbers to imaginary powers.

    xi*y = cos(y*ln(x)) + i*sin(y*ln(x))

    For any still confused, apply that to ln(-1) (or e(some numbers) = -1 to find out why i*pi fits in “some numbers.”

    Math is awesome.

  17. Pavel says:

    I apologise that the last post has no superscript. For some reason, despite the assurance “you may use HTML tags for style,” they are not working.

  18. JV says:

    @Pavel yeah that’s right. if I’m not mistaken that identity can be demonstrated using Taylor series for e^x, comparing it to the power series corresponding to sin(x) and cos(x).

    “Math is awesome.” 100% agreed.

  19. Saurabh says:

    See the value of pie upto 10 million places here! I calculated it!
    Open it using the viewer in winrar, the usual notepad is unable to open it because of its size!

  20. anonymous says:

    Whats really crazy is that e^iπ +1=0

  21. Calvin says:

    Also, π^2/6 = 1 + 1/4 + 1/9 + 1/16 + … for the sheer sense of bewilderment it inspires.

  22. π = ln(-1) / sqrt(-1)

  23. No one can make a better pie than me. I’m the best cook from the East Blue!

  24. Alex says:

    Actually, all of you are wrong. The title refers to the function π(x) evaluated at e (Euler’s constant), which gives the number of primes less than or equal to e (1).

  25. “Powerful Quake and Tsunami Devastate Northern Japan!!!!!!!!!”
    Stop worrying about the damn Pie!!!!! :@

  26. Kristine says:

    I love chocolate cream pie!!!

  27. @ Black Leg Sanji

    Yes, as a pi(e)rate your pi(e)les of pie are great!

  28. Happy Pi Day everyone!!!!!!!!!

  29. Anonymous says:

    All real engineers know that:
    π / e = 1

  30. Ryan Landay says:

    also, e^(π * sqrt(163)) is an integer

  31. Anonymous says:

    @Ryan Landay I really don’t think so buddy. Wolfram alpha says otherwise. I reckon it’s another approximate.