SUMS Celebrates Pi Day

Univ. Communications – Students at the University of Rochester spent the first full week in March celebrating Pi, a number of importance in a variety of fields, including engineering, architecture, and aerospace.

The 2nd Annual Pi Week/Mathematics Festival, organized by the Society of Mathematics Students (SUMS), featured lectures, a Pumpkin Pie-eating contest, and a screening of the film Pi.

VIDEO: Pi Week Featured on 13WHAM This Morning

The events culminated on Pi Day—March 14 (3.14)—with a homage to Pi on the University’s homepage, which featured Flat Pi, the official mascot of the Pi Week celebration.

Similar to “Flat Stanley,” a traveling paper doll known by many school children, Flat Pi was sent on an adventure around the world to demonstrate the universality of both pi and math in our lives. Over the course of a two-week period, Flat Pi made a stop in Homer, Alaska, Cambridge, England, Bangkok, Thailand, and Doha, Qatar.

To learn more about SUMS, visit them on the CCC.

Article written by Melissa Greco Lopes, editor of The Buzz and student life publicist in University Communications.

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