Who Wants Pi?

pi self portrait

Every year, on March 14, math lovers around the world unite to celebrate Pi Day. Pi Day this year is extraordinary as it will provide us 10 digits of Pi or 3.14.15 at 9:26:53 AM/PM. We won’t see another ten-digit run in this century (the next one will be in the year 2115!) For this reason, the SOA will be celebrating Pi Day in style this year.

Although knowledge of Pi –the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter- goes back almost 4,000 years, celebrating Pi Day dates back just to 1988. Larry Shaw, who worked in the electronics group at the San Francisco’s Exploratorium, gathered a group of museum staff and kicked off what would become a nationwide tradition of pie eating contests, Pi decimal recitals, 3.14 mile races, and a multitude of Pi related contests and challenges. Watch the Exploratorium’s Pi Day webcast (30 minutes) starting 1:00 PM PST and meet Pi Day founder Larry Shaw. Learn more about the history of Pi, how it is calculated and see a cool pi demo.  Test your knowledge with a series of logic-based puzzles at Pi Day Challenge launching on, you guessed it, March 14th.

The SOA will start celebrating early on Friday, March 13th with a pie contest – pies made by staff and judged by actuaries. Judges will choose the best tasting, most creative and best overall pies with the entire team wearing their commemorative Pi Day t-shirts and testing their math skills with pi quizzes!

So grab a slice and keep your eye on the blog and SOA Twitter (@SOActuaries) for photos of SOA Pi Day activities and more. Let us know here and on Twitter what your vote for best pie would be and how you are celebrating Pi Day. We would love to see video evidence of actuaries reciting the longest pi sequence!


Nidhi Chokshi Best Looking Pie

Best Looking Pie – Samoa Cookie Pie

Best in Show - Strawberry Rhubarb

Best in Show – Strawberry Rhubarb

Best Tasting Pie – Fudge Bottom Peanut Butter Creme Pie


All the judges

SOA Pi Day Judges – Staff Actuaries

All the pies

Pi! Pie!


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3 responses to "Who Wants Pi?"

  • Chuck Sherfey says:

    I do not know if I can wait until 2115. Would using military or nautical time (1-24 hours in a day) shorten my wait?

  • Daniel M. Arnold, FSA says:

    Comment from a son-in-law:

    Why the statement just ten digits? Don’t these guys know we can measure time to a precision greater than 1 second? We can split the second into fractions and measure it. If it can be argued that time exists in infinitely small fractions of a second (but some argue for quantized time in orders related to Plancks constant) then there would be ALL infinitely many digits of time at that instant sometime during that second 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 – within that long second of 10 good digits that lasts a whole second, there would be an instant of all infinitely many digits. Or at least many more than 10 digits if we measure more carefully.
    Erik M. Bollt, Professor
    W. Jon Harrington Professor of Mathematics
    Dept of Mathematics
    Clarkson University
    Potsdam, NY 13699-5815

  • Pat Kinney says:

    Is it just me or is the mirror image of Pi wrong?

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