Saturday, March 14, is a special holiday for math-lovers. Known as Pi Day, the holiday celebrates the mathematical constant pi. This irrational number is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and it starts with 3.1415926535897…the numbers continue at random into infinity.
People celebrate Pi Day around the U.S. and around the world with pie-eating, pie-throwing, even with pi-recitation competitions, where people recite digits of pi from memory.
And we love Pi Day at PBS NewsHour (see photo above for proof). But this Pi Day is a once-in-a-century celebration. At 9:26:53 a.m. on Saturday, this will happen:
Despite Pi Day’s endorsement from Congress as a day to celebrate math education, U.S. math scores still fall behind other developed countries. In a survey of OECD countries in 2012, the U.S. was below average in its math scores, falling behind the Slovak Republic in this survey. According to a study in Spain in 2009, six out of 10 college students experience anxiety around math. And Education Week reported in 2012 that
math anxiety affects around 50 percent of Americans.
So we’re asking: Why do you love math? This Pi Day, we want to hear from math enthusiasts of all ages. Tell us why you’re passionate about numbers, and how you’re celebrating Pi Day by tweeting @NewsHour your photos and answers using #NewsHourAsks. Come Pi Day, your answer may be featured on our website.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed pi as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its radius. It’s the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.