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Pi Day: Schools celebrate math with desserts

March 14, 2012 | 11:39 am

Pie

One of the math world’s most beloved numbers is giving kids across Los Angeles a reason to eat dessert in school Wednesday, 3/14.

The enigma known as pi is a mathematical constant that represents the relationship between a circle’s diameter and circumference. It is infinite, irrational and a cool-looking Greek symbol all at once (π).

Many non-math majors are content to round off pi simply as 3.14. Other interested observers have memorized pi’s value into the thousands of digits. To many young students being exposed to the odd number for the first time on March 14, the number means eating dessert for lunch.

At Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles, Judith Mendoza brought pies for her students and had them figure out the treat’s circumference. Other teachers explained pi’s history or had their students recite pi for as many digits as they could remember.

“As a math nerd, we like Pi Day,” said Mendoza, the math department chair. “We celebrate it in our way.”

The Math Academy at Millikan Middle School also plans to celebrate Pi Day on Wednesday afternoon with pie-throwing and a pie-eating contest.

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--Anna Gorman and Matt Stevens

Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Photo: Students are celebrating Pi Day by eating and throwing all kinds of pie. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

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