VIDEO: Rochester Celebrates 3.141592653589793…

Univ. Communications – Pi is more than a number; it’s a phenomenon. Students of math know it as the circumference of a circle divided by the diameter, but the number that never ends is important in a variety of fields, including engineering, architecture, and aerospace. Pi has also inspired books, poetry, music, and movie plots. So it should be no surprise that the University of Rochester celebrated Pi Day on March 14.

The University’s celebration, organized by the Society of Mathematics Students (SUMS), featured lectures, a math problem-solving contest, and a mini-research conference. One highlight was the unveiling of the first 60 digits of pi at 3:14 (naturally) in the afternoon, complete with mellophones (French horns). And no Pi Day would be complete without the traditional pie-related events—consisting of eating, judging, and throwing. (See the schedule on page 2.)

Pi Day was started by physicist Larry Shaw in San Francisco in 1989. March 14 was chosen because the numerical equivalent of the date (3/14) corresponds to the first three digits of pi.

Do YOU know π? Can you beat these students’ recitations of π? Watch U of R students try their hand at listing all the digits! video

Pi Day at the University of Rochester
March 14, 2011
Schedule of Events

Lecture Series
Wilmot 116
11:30 am Shannon Starr (Math)
12:00 pm Paul Fili (Math)
12:30 pm Krystal Taylor (Math)
1:00 pm Sarada Rajeev (Physics)
1:30 pm Todd Krauss (Chemistry)
2:00 pm Eric Mamajek (Physics)

Activities Fair
Munnerlyn Atrium; Goergen Hall/Hylan Courtyard
2:30 pm Pie Eating Contest; Pie a Pi
3:10 pm Pi Ceremony: Math Chair Steve Gonek, MC
3:14 pm Unveiling of Pi
3:20 pm Pie Reception (at least for the first 100)
3:30 pm Musical Selections
4:30 pm Concludes

Events for High School Students
Hylan 102
4:00 pm Problem Solving with Dan Geba
5:00 pm Lecture with Thomas Tucker

Mini-Math Research Conference
Goergen 108
7:00 pm Undergraduate Research Conference
8:30 pm Concludes

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