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Happy Pi Day!

Circle_diagram1As you know, pi is the Greek letter π, which stands for the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.

Numerically, that is 3.1415926535… and so on forever without repeating.

(See the illustration above. No matter how big a circle is, it's circumference will always be 3.141592 etc. times its diameter.)

March 14 is celebrated as Pi Day by mathematicians around the world because today is 3-14 in numerical notation. Imagine what the celebration was like in 1592.

(Actually, the symbol π wasn't used for this famous ratio until 1706, but the ratio itself -- or a close approximation -- has been known for more than 4,000 years. For more, see the history of pi.)

You are a mathematician if you find the following joke funny: "Pies aren't square, they're round!"

If you didn't find that funny -- or didn't even get it -- but are still reading, you have a good chance of being OtherWise.

Who else would have enough curiosity to want to know what gets a mathematician's juices flowing?



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