Forks not required: Pi Day celebrates our favorite infinite number

Quick! Get out your favorite circular objects to celebrate Pi Day!

As the math and science enthusiasts among us already know, March 14 (i.e. 3/14) is officially Pi Day — a day to celebrate the number Pi, identified by the Greek letter π, which is used to calculate the circumference of a circle.

Due to its length, Pi is typically shortened to 3.14. But because the number is both irrational and transcendental, it “will continue indefinitely without repeating,” as the official Pi Day website kindly explains.

With the use of handy computers, Pi now calculates out to more than one trillion digits beyond the decimal. The very mysterious nature of Pi — the fact that it can never be entirely known — helped generate the adoration for the nyumber held by the mathematically inclined.

Welsh mathematician William Jones first used the famous Greek letter as a symbol for for Pi in his work Synopsis Palmariorum Matheseos published in 1706. But the symbol didn’t really gain widespread popularity until Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler adopted the Greek letter over 30 years later in 1737.

So what exactly is the purpose of Pi Day?

“Mathematics and science can be a fun and interesting part of a child’s education, and learning about Pi can be an engaging way to teach children about geometry and attract them to study science and mathematics,” Congress stated when it officially designated Pi Day in 2009. “America needs to reinforce mathematics and science education for all students in order to better prepare our children for the future and in order to compete in a 21st Century economy.” 

Pi Day was first celebrated in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, which remains one of Pi Day’s primary promoters. At the time, math enthusiasts paraded around the monument in a clockwise circle three and one-seventh times while singing “Happy Birthday” to Albert Einstein (March 14 is his birthday too). Today, Pi Day celebrations take place in countless grade schools across the country. 

While a wide variety of Pi Day celebrations are acceptable, some of the more popular include circle-measuring parties, watching the movie Pi (1998), Pi recitation contests (to see who can accurately recall the most digits) and, of course, eating actual pie!

So get out there, and enjoy all things circular. The celebrating will make your math teachers proud!

Updated March 13: Added details regarding Pi Day’s history.

Mobile

Tag Heuer shoots, scores with new Premier League Wear OS watch face

Tag Heuer has released an exclusive Wear OS watch face for its smartwatches, celebrating its continued association with England's Premier League, ready to deliver all the game updates to your wrist.
Mobile

A library at your fingertips: The 101 best free Kindle books

You shouldn't always have to pay for a good read. Here are our picks for the best free Kindle books, so you don't have to sort through thousands of titles on Amazon and Google Play. We divided them into various genres, so dive in.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Her’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for something without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses with one of these handy services.
Computing

Both the Razer Blade and XPS 15 are capable laptops, but which is better?

We pit the latest Dell XPS 15 against the latest Razer Blade 15 to see which machine meets the needs of most people. Both are a fast, attractive, and well-built, but they still appeal to different users.
Computing

Logitech’s distinctive new ergonomic mouse looks as good as it feels

Logitech's first true ergonomic mouse sports an interesting tilted design that encourages less muscle strain. We spent some time with the MX Vertical to see how comfortable it is and determine whether or not we'd prefer it to a standard…
Computing

Use one of these password managers to stay safe online

The internet can be a scary place, especially if you don't have a proper passcode manager. This guide will show you the best password managers you can get right now, including both premium and free options. Find the right password software…
Mobile

Airport’s low-tech solution to digital chaos involves the humble whiteboard

A U.K. airport has suffered a major computer error, caused by data connection problems, which has stopped flight boards from showing crucial passenger information. The solution is wonderfully low-tech.
Computing

Here’s how to watch Nvidia’s GeForce event at Gamescom

Today is August 20, and that means Nvidia may showcase its GeForce RTX 20 Series of add-in graphics cards for gamers. We’re sticking with that name rather than the previous GTX 11 Series brand due to today’s date.
Computing

HTC breaks down VR barriers by bringing Oculus Rift titles to Viveport

HTC's Viveport store and subscription service will be opened to Oculus Rift users in September this year, letting them buy titles directly and take advantage of the monthly game-delivery service.
Computing

Dell’s new fast-refresh Freesync display could be your next great gaming screen

Dell has debuted a pair of new gaming TN displays, each offering high refresh rates and fast response times to gamers alongside Freesync technology. There are 24- and 27-inch versions of the new screens available now.
Computing

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 20 Series starts at $500 and features real-time ray tracing

Nvidia revealed its new GeForce RTX 2000 Series of add-in desktop graphics cards for gamers during its pre-show Gamescom press event. The new family is based on Nvidia’s new “Turing” architecture focusing on real-time ray tracing.
Computing

Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs are coming to Alienware and Predator gaming desktops

Dell and Acer have both announced support for Nvidia's new GeForce RTX 2000 graphics cards in refreshed gaming desktops, including Predator Orion series systems and Alienware desktops.