With Pi-zazz

by Roland Minton on March 19, 2014

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Whether you write the date for March 14 as 3/14 or 3.14, you probably understand why the day is called “Pi Day.” Is it a good sign for mathematicians that Pi Day seems to have made into the mainstream of our culture? It may not be clear whether they’re laughing with us or at us, but Pi Day at Roanoke College is a raucous good time. For the seventh straight year, the RC Student Chapter of the Mathematical Association of America has staged a pie-ing of professors in association with Pi Day. Bad luck with weather (really, below freezing in mid-March in Virginia?) brought the pie-ing inside and limited the quantity of pies, but the quality of good humor and ill will was high as people found their targets with plates of Cool Whip. The Pi-Athlon was hotly contested, as teams of students solved puzzles and completed tasks to earn points, with the team earning the closest to 100p points winning. In a first place tie with 314.1592 points were the teams of Heather Cook/Jon Marino and Thomas Lux/Sarah Dvorak; they won gift certificates for $20p to Mac & Bob’s. An evening Conversation Series talk of magic and mystery wrapped up the Pi Day festivities. Plans are already underway for a special celebration next year on 3.14.15 (at 9:26)!

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