be well-rounded….CELEBRATE PI DAY !!!!
Pi Day: We can write March 14 as 3-14, and 3.14 is the beginning of the special number called pi. Since 1989, math classes, math clubs, and museums from coast to coast have observed each March 14 as PI DAY, a chance to celebrate the too-often-unsung beauty and connections of math in our world, including the number pi. (Here’s media coverage of a recent local Pi Day event: http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/lesser/EPJA2008piday.gif). In 2009, House lawmakers enshrined the day as a national holiday across the US.
Pi: Arguably the most famous number not an integer, pi comes from dividing the distance around a circle by the greatest distance across the circle: circumference divided by diameter. This quotient or ratio equals the number pi no matter how big the circle is. Even though this relationship has been known for thousands of years, it was only 300 years ago that the Greek letter pi (the first letter of the Greek word for “surrounding perimeter”) was introduced. This number has a decimal representation which never stops or repeats, although modern computers have now computed pi to over a trillion decimal places!
research ARTICLE I co-wrote about family math nights which featured pi activities: “Parent Power Nights: A Vehicle for Engaging Adults/Families in Learning Mathematics.”(Nov. 2008) Adults Learning Mathematics International Journal, 3(2b), 36-52. http://www.alm-online.net/images/ALM/journals/almij-volume3_2_b_nov2008.pdf
resource ARTICLE for classroom teachers: Check out my article “Slices of Pi: Rounding Up Ideas for Celebrating Pi Day” in pages 6-11 of the fall 2004 Texas Mathematics Teacher, which you can find here: http://tctmonline.org/downloads/TMT_Journal/TMT_Fall_04.pdf. The article was cited in the March 2005 issues of Mathematics Teacher and MAA Focus. Also of interest is Sandra A. Daire’s Pi Day article “Celebrating Mathematics All Year ‘Round” in the March 2010 Mathematics Teacher, 103(7), 509-513: http://www.nctm.org/eresources/article_summary.asp?URI=MT2010-03-509a&from=B. A related article I published in the Winter 2013 issue (pp. 43-47) of The Jewish Educator is at http://thejewisheducator.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/lesser1.pdf.
pi day classroom COMICS activity I wrote: “Cartoon Corner” on p. 383 & 387 of the March 2007 (12(7)) Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
pi day RADIO SCRIPT I wrote: listeners of NPR-station KTEP (88.5 FM) have heard several mid-March airings of a special “Pi Day” edition of the “Desert Diaries” show, which is archived on the Centennial Museum’s website: http://museum2.utep.edu/archive/math/DDpiday.htm
my favorite Pi Day SONGS:
• I wrote “Circle Song” (http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/lesser/circlesong.html) to help secondary school students recall –and distinguish-- the two most common formulas associated with circles. Appears on p.6 of Fall 2004 Texas Mathematics Teacher. Click HERE to hear a demo recording of the song.
• I wrote “American Pi”(http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/lesser/americanpi.html)
to present historical highlights (and a mnemonic for the first 6 significant
figures) of the number pi, ranging from an implied value in the Bible to the
Indiana legislature’s 1897 consideration of a bill that declared pi equal to 4
[see Arthur Hallerberg's article "Indiana's
Squared Circle" in the May 1977 Mathematics Magazine], and may be
sung to the tune of Don McLean’s #1 hit “American Pie” (that was returned to
the charts by Madonna in 2000). The Math Forum lists it (click here or here) as a
great song for "PI DAY" (3/14), as does the March 2005 issue of MAA Focus!
Varying versions have appeared in May 2000 Mathematics Teacher, March 2003 Pi
in the Sky, the 2004 Prometheus book by Posamentier
and Lehmann Pi: A Biography of the
World’s Most Mysterious Number, Sept. 2005 Journal of Irreproducible Results, and in February 2006 MAA Horizons. Check out this rockin’
rendition by Calvin Coolidge (a band of then-high schoolers
my favorite pi songs by others: facstaff.bloomu.edu/kferland/Pi_Songs/songs.html
; teachpi.org/music/rap.htm ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs464DqnPTo&feature=related
a pi-pourri of other links:
the 2012 movie Life of Pi is based on a book about which mathematical questions are posed in “Slices of Pi: Rounding Up Ideas for Celebrating Pi Day” in pages 6-11 of the fall 2004 Texas Mathematics Teacher, which you can find here: http://tctmonline.org/downloads/TMT_Journal/TMT_Fall_04.pdf.