March 13, 2018
Joining many people around the world, Saint Vincent College students will be celebrating all things “pi” on Wednesday, March 14.
The Saint Vincent College Math Club, under the direction of co-presidents Benjamin Watt and Zachary Schuler and its other student officers, Robert Lynn, Taylor Berardi, Joseph Marcinik, and Amanda Bernola, have planned several activities to observe the day which reflects the mathematical value of Pi (Greek letter “π”), the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the month/day date format), since 3, 1 and 4 are the first three significant digits of π in decimal form.
Rachel N. Gettinger, a Saint Vincent College graduate of the class of 2013 who is pursuing a doctoral degree in mathematics at Syracuse University, will give a talk about palindromic numbers in room WG03 of the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion at 3 p.m. A palindromic number or numeral palindrome is a number that remains the same when its digits are reversed. Like 16461, for example, it is "symmetrical." The term palindromic is derived from palindrome, which refers to a word (such as rotor or racecar) whose spelling is unchanged when its letters are reversed. All are welcome to attend the talk, and coffee and cookies will be served afterward.
There will also be pi decorated cupcakes in the Dupré Pavilion Atrium all day for visitors, accompanied by a display on the world's greatest mathematical constant.
The students are planning a math-themed scavenger hunt at 9:30 p.m. inside the Dupré Pavilion with a series of puzzle clues to lead participants through the building. By 11 p.m. winners will be determined and everyone will share pie and pizza.
Area high school students and other math enthusiasts are welcome to participate.
Pi has been calculated by mathematicians to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.
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