It’s generally overshadowed by St. Patrick’s Day, but folks who are more geeky than green celebrate Pi Day on March 14 of every year … it’s 3.14, you know.
I never considered myself much of a mathlete, though math was one of my strong points in high school, where I took every course offered. I was good with a slide rule and won the senior math award — but our highest level course was “Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry,” and none of my teachers ever mentioned anything so basic to calculus as a function: f(x)=2x would have been a mystery to me.
My grades, however, landed me in a calculus course when I got to college. I struggled more there, but derivatives made sense, and I did OK until we got to imaginary numbers. I couldn’t imagine them. I just couldn’t.
But pi I could understand. Even though it’s not a rational number, I could visualize the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter. I could memorize pi‘s value to eight or ten decimal places. I could work with it.
Pi is sometimes referrred to as a “mathmatical constant,” and something about me likes that. In a world marked by change and uncertainty, pi is as dependable as the love of God, and perhaps a fitting reminder.
Happy Pi Day, everybody.