Pi Day: 4 Places to Celebrate π on March 14
Pi Day: March 14, also 3/14, marks the day the world celebrates pi, the mathematical constant that defines the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. The number hovers around 3.14 (hence the date chosen to honor it), but its decimal places go on infinitely. Mathematicians have been chasing after π 's exact value for thousands of years, to no avail.
Obviously, something so mysterious must be heralded. Here are four ways people are celebrating the holiday around the United States.
1. ExplOratorium, San Francisco, Calif.
This family-oriented celebration at the ExplOratorium was the first Pi Day holiday, founded by former staffer Larry Shaw in 1988, and held annually ever since. Events include pizza-dough tossing; a procession to the Pi Shrine (shown at top), each mini mathematician hoisting a π-imprinted paper plate atop a yardstick; and lively demonstrations that convey evidence of π everywhere around us.
2. Princeton, N.J.
In this most comprehensive celebration, the town and Princeton University team up all weekend to honor both Albert Einstein, who lived and taught here and whose birthday is March 14, and Pi Day. Among the highlights are pie-eating, pie-throwing, an Einstein look-alike and pi-recitation contests; 3.14-mile-measured walks and bikerides; and a party featuring the band PiFight.
3. Washington, D.C.
The District of Columbia is home to the District of Pi pizzeria. Truly. Stop by at 6 p.m. March 14 to test your π memorization skills -- the contest winner receives a $100 pie gift card. Also: Proof of a March 14 birthday gets you a free large pizza. Related: Pi Pizzeria's locations in St. Louis, Mo., offer the same bonuses.
4. Chicago, Ill.
Sweet. Chicago-area bakeries and pizzerias are selling π-themed treats, like the $3.14 cupcakes embellished with either the π or Einstein's visage, at Swirlz Cupcakes. Enter Swirlz on the stroke of 3:14 p.m. on March 14, mention the Illinois Science Council, and you get a dozen cupcakes (limited to the first two customers). Or register by midnight, March 13, to participate in the Science Council's 3.14-mile fun run, followed by pizza and a math- themed trivia quiz. Visit illinoisscience.org for a full listing of participating vendors.