Beware the Pi’s of March!

by rahmoeller on March 23, 2016

Last week was a busy week for the MCSP department at Roanoke College. March 14 is known as Pi Day to many people, and it is a day celebrating the number

Pi = π ≈ 3.14159…

π cannot be written as a fraction, which is part of the reason why it is so intriguing. People spend their lives trying to come up with new digits of π. If you remember the formula for the circumference of a circle (C = 2πr = 2d), where r = radius and d = diameter, you can see that π is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle.

So, π has won the hearts of many people, and here at Roanoke College, we take advantage of this wonderful day that celebrates π.

We started this π Day celebration with a fundraiser:


Several professors volunteered to participate, and each received a jar. By Tuesday, March 15, the jar with the most money was the winner, and the associated professor was pied in the face!

This year, Dr. Anil Shende was the winner- his daughter could not have been more excited! What a graduation gift! His jar alone contained a whopping $134.85!!! Altogether we raised $182.28, which will be donated to the West End Center.


Watch a video of this exciting event below:


The students also had a chance to win gift cards to Mac and Bob’s (worth 20π, 10π, and 5π, of course) by competing in the annual π-Athlon! This event is made up of a collection of activities- reciting digits of π from memory, completing a π Day wordsearch, matching interesting facts with corresponding professors, and working through 100 math problems, to name a few. Each activity was worth a certain number of points. The goal? To obtain as close to 100π points as possible- yes, including decimal places.

Our last π Day event was a big one- we made 44 pies and donated them to the Salem Food Pantry.


MCSP students, Gamma Sigma Sigma students, and other students gathered in Roanoke College’s bakery last Thursday evening to make a total of 20 apple pies and 24 pumpkin pies.

PumpkinPies copy IMG_1491
PieBoxes1 PieBoxes2

This would not have been possible without the help of Lavelle Glenn, the Bake Shop Coordinator at Roanoke College, and without the help of our donors- Kroger, Sam’s Club, and friends.


Our goal for next year? Involve more students, bake more pies, and continue having fun!!

We have put together a slideshow of photos from the event. To view this video, click slideshow!