March 15, 2012
Pi Day celebrated on campus
What many people would pass over as just another day, the Harding University mathematics students and faculty celebrated 3-14, also known as Pi Day, through bringing various activities to the school’s campus.
Pi day is an unofficial holiday commemorating the mathematical constant π (Pi). It is celebrated on March 14, since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form.
To kick off the Pi Day celebration, mathematics students gathered the night before and chalked the campus sidewalks with thousands of digits of Pi.
“My favorite part of the celebration was helping our mathematics students after curfew to place 2,520 digits of Pi on campus sidewalks,” said Debbie Duke, professor of Mathematics. “They were creative, hard working and accurate.”
On Pi Day, many activities were done to promote Pi and to raise money for the George Benson Christian College in Zambia. According to Duke, the goal was to provide a complete scholarship for a mathematics student at the college.
The department raised more than $1,400 through a variety of ways including baking and selling homemade pies in the morning, selling Pi Day t-shirts throughout the day and hosting a “Pi a Professor” event. Students could pay $5 for the opportunity to throw a pie at one of seven Harding professors.
“I love the idea of using Pi Day to help raise awareness for math education,” said Jack Shock, professor of mass communication and faculty participant in “Pi a Professor.” “When I learned the proceeds would go to a student at the George Benson school in Africa, I was the first in line to help.”
Other activities included a 3.14 K race held held at 3:14 p.m. for students to participate in and numerous pies were served in the cafeteria for lunch. According to Duke, Pi Day was a huge success with great student participation.
“For us Pi Day was a celebration of the field of mathematics as well as a day to honor our mathematics students,” Duke said. “ It is very rewarding to know that a student in Zambia will benefit in such a great way from our celebration.”