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Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14 (3/14) is celebrated annually as Pi Day because the date resembles the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter - 3.14159265359 or 3.14 for short.

In honor of this math holiday, expect to see a lot of offers for $3.14 slices of pie and pizzas.

Archimedes of Syracuse (about 287–212 B.C.) is credited with doing the first calculation of Pi. The legend goes that Archimedes was so engrossed in his work that he did not notice that Roman soldiers had taken the Greek city of Syracuse. When a Roman soldier approached him, he yelled in Greek "Do not touch my circles!" The Roman soldier simply cut off his head and went on his business.

British mathematician William Jones came up with the Greek letter and symbol for the figure in 1706.

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Today's Random Fact:

The letter p is the first letter of the Greek word 'periphery' and 'perimeter.' The symbol p in mathematics represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. In other words, p is the number of times a circle's diameter will fit around its circumference.

We can never truly measure the circumference or the area of a circle because we can never truly know the value of pi. Pi is an irrational number, meaning its digits go on forever in a seemingly random sequence.


Bonus Fact:

The Bible alludes to pi in 1 Kings 7:23 where it describes the altar inside Solomon's temple: "And he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim... and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about." These measurements procure the following equation: 333/106 = 3.141509.

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