Mu Alpha Theta turns Pi into Pie

Ayathi Gogineni, Editor-in-Chief

On March 14, Mu Alpha Theta, Clover Hill’s math honor society, celebrated National Pi Day with special activities, including a pi digits memorization contest, pie eating contest, and a pie eating social.

According to USA Today, Pi Day was originally connected to the date of March 14 by former physicist Larry Shaw, who marked the first Pi Day with fruit pies and teas at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988. Then, in 2009, the House of Representatives in Congress passed a resolution officializing March 14 as National Pi Day.

For mathematicians, Pi Day is a chance to celebrate Pi, a number that represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Although Pi is rounded to 3.14, recognized on March 14 for that reason, it technically goes on forever. According to the Guinness World Records, the most accurate value of Pi is more than 62 trillion digits.

For scientists, Pi Day is a chance to honor Albert Einstein, who was born on this national day in 1879. San Francisco’s Exploratorium added a celebration of Einstein’s life as part of its Pi Day activities after realizing the coincidence. 

For the general population, especially pie lovers, Pi Day presents an opportunity for one to eat as much pie as one can. 

On the hill, Mu Alpha Theta approached their celebrations for Pi Day as mathematicians and pie enthusiasts. After an introductory presentation, they began their meeting with a pie eating contest.

The pie eating contest consisted of contestants attempting to eat an entire silver tin of whipping cream pie without the use of their hands and in the fastest amount of time. Sophomore Alena Stone finished first and received a small trophy for her win.

Next, Mu Alpha Theta split into groups of around three to four people to take a practice Virginia Math League (VML) set of six very difficult math problems. Usually, VML practice sets are taken individually and taken with the mindset of preparing for a monthly competition; however, due to COVID-19, these problem sets are now taken by the students of Mu Alpha Theta for the purpose of enhancing their mathematical skills. 

Groups were given 15 minutes to complete the problem set and aimed to get at least three problems right. The group(s) with the most number of questions right got to get their pie slices first for the general pie eating social that came afterwards. 

During the VML practice session, students participated in the second Pi Day specific competition: the Pi digit memorization contest.

In this contest, the contestants had exactly three minutes to write as many digits of pi as accurately as possible. After student graders graded the contestants’ papers through the use of an online website listing the first 100,000 digits of pi, the winner, Sophomore Taylor Lan, also received a small trophy for his win.

Finally, before the closure of their celebrations for the Pi Day, the Mu Alpha Theta Cavaliers lined up various pies from lemon pie to pecan pie to chocolate pie at the front of the room and enjoyed the last moments of their meeting eating pie and socializing with their friends and teachers. 

Overall Pi Day is not only recognized to honor the significant mathematical symbol of Pi, but it is also a great day to enjoy various assortments of pies in the world.