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Celebrating the Pi Day of the Century

April 2, 2015

This year’s Pi Day on 3.14.15 starting at 9:26 a.m., will rank as the most correct starting dates and times of the century for having the most numbers align with the value of pi—3.1415926.

The BYU Department of Mathematics wanted to honor Pi Day appropriately, so it held a two-day party extravaganza to celebrate the event. On Pi Day, the department teamed up with the rugby team and gave out pie to those who attended.

The department also hosted a pi-themed celebration in Brigham Square the day before Pi Day.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Jared Patten, a computer science major from Pleasant Grove. “This [Pi Day] is never going to happen again.”

Patten was one of hundreds of students that participated in the Pi Day events in Brigham Square on Friday. The math department had booths around the square promoting all things pi.

One of the events was a pi recitation contest. The current record at BYU for reciting the most number of digits of pi is 2,448. Anne Larsen, a computer science major from West Virginia, had also memorized the numbers of pi.

“I’ve always just loved the idea behind pi,” Larsen said. “It’s this irrational, never-ending number, and, when I was younger, I started memorizing some digits of it. Now I have a hundred memorized.”

Larsen said she wasn’t planning on competing, but she was looking forward to simply enjoying the atmosphere in the square.

“It’s just this community feeling—that everyone is excited about this random number—that I really like,” Larsen said.

Larsen wasn’t the only one who was enjoying herself. All over the square people played games, danced to music, Pi-ed the professor and the players from the BYU rugby team. Jared Ririe, a computer engineering student from St. George, was excited that other students could see how fun math could be.

“I think it is critical that we have a knowledge of and excitement for these things,” Ririe said. “A lot of times, in school, people get disheartened by difficult subjects but we really need people who study math and science to do incredible things.”