Thursday, March 8, 2018

In That Number: The University of New Orleans to Celebrate Pi Day

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The University of New Orleans will join in the international celebration of Pi Day on Wednesday, March 14 with a series of 3.14-themed competitions and activities for students and community.

Pi is the symbol used in mathematics to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The number is notable because its value remains constant—approximately 3.14—regardless of the circle’s size. According to, Pi has been calculated to more than one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.

Pi Day at UNO kicks off with a walkathon following a route around campus that is 3.14 km long. Register to participate in the walkathon here. Later in the morning, UNO students enrolled in pre-calculus and calculus will test their knowledge of the number in the Pi Day Olympiad Invitational. After lunch, Haydel’s Bakery sponsors a “pi” eating contest in the library breezeway. Click here to register for the contest.

The UNO Mathematics Society hosts a screening of the film “Pi,” a dramatic thriller focused on a troubled mathematician and his pursuit by suspicious characters. The film will be shown in the Privateer Pride room inside the library with pizza and popcorn available. In a Jeopardy-style quiz bowl, teams will be tested on their collective knowledge of pi-related trivia. Click here to register a team. Finally, Joel Webb of the mathematics department faculty will deliver a lecture about the history of Pi. An awards ceremony convenes at 2:45 p.m., and the day’s activities conclude promptly at 3:14 p.m.

A complete schedule of activities with times and locations appears below. All events with the exception of the Pi Day Olympiad Invitational are free and open to the public.

University of New Orleans Pi Day Schedule

9 a.m. Pi Day Walkathon – 3.14 km posted route around the UNO campus

10 a.m. Pi Day Olympiad Invitational test (Calculus and Pre-calculus UNO students only) – Earl K. Long Library room 407

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.    Lunch on your own

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Orientation Leaders host "Pi an OL" fundraiser in the Quad. For $1, visitors are invited to throw a pie at an orientation leader.

12 p.m. Pie eating contest sponsored by Haydel’s Bakery – Earl K. Long Library Breezeway

12:30 p.m. Movie Screening: “Pi” – Privateer Pride room, first floor of the Library

1:00 p.m. Jeopardy Quiz Bowl – Earl K. Long Library room 407

2:15 p.m. History of Pi presented by Dr. Joel Webb – Earl K. Long Library room 407

2:45 p.m. Awards ceremony – Earl K. Long Library room 407

3:14 p.m. Celebration concludes