A Pi Day to… forget? :-(

Hi friends,

It’s usually a good thing when Pi Day falls on a Saturday. The last two times this has taken place were both momentous dates in our shared history of Pi:

  • 2015:  March 14 fell on a Saturday in 2015, which, of course, marked the Pi Day of the Century (3.14.15).  I’ll never forget where I was – cheering at the precise moment with 500 fellow math lovers at a gathering in Los Angeles, where I later gave a keynote lecture and  my pal Pi Diddy interrupted the official digit memory contest with a surprise rap performance.  (He’s such a spotlight-hog.)
  • 2009:  This Pi Day Saturday capped off the end of a historic week in which the U.S. House of Representatives debated and (not quite unanimously) passed a resolution to recognize and honor our favorite holiday.  I was also with a group of about 250 math folks on the big day, speaking, performing, and sharing the breaking news coming out of the halls of Congress.

But alas, Saturday, March 14, 2020 came and went with a bit of a whimper for most of us, myself included.  While many kids continued to crank out ever-impressive additions to the rankings, we’ve generally had bigger things on our mind this year than the joy of an infinitely beautiful number.  Instead, we’ve all been focused on bending the curve of the spread of the covid-19 virus away from infinity and toward zero.  Kudos to everyone who has been making sacrifices and helping their fellow humans during this time of worldwide need.

The nice thing about infinity is that there will always be another digit, and there will always be another Pi Day.  For this one, we Pi people just had to keep it simple and celebrate quietly.  For my part, I sang Pi Day carols with my kids over slices of apple pie.  Good enough for 3.14.20.  Looking forward to 3.14.21.

Stay healthy and never stop appreciating the beauty in the world around us – numerical and otherwise!


Luke Anderson is the founder and proprietor of TeachPi.org. Luke has been a Pi Day presenter to K-12, college, and adult audiences around the country for more than 20 years, and is a frequent contributor to Pi-related stories in the media.

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