Students enjoy “pi”

Free slices of pie were available in the Los Medanos College’s Math Building for its annual Pi Day event March 14 at 1:59 p.m.

The event was put together with the help of Math Lab coordinator Julio Guerrero, administrative assistant Abbey Duldulao, and instructors Maria Perrone and Micheal Norris.

Tables were set up in the building’s downstairs lounge. Slices of a variety of pies — banana, cherry, apple, apple crumble and chocolate mousse — were set out on the tabletops.

The significance of Pi day has to do with the mathematical constant “π,” the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

Ancient Chinese mathematicians used a seven-digit pi, but modern mathematicians have expanded it to over 13.3 trillion digits, though it’s most commonly known in its six-digit form– 3.14159, hence the celebration on March 14 at just before 2 o’clock, or 3/14 1:59.

People celebrate by doing things related to Pi, including consuming foods that start with ‘pi’ — pineapple, pizza, pie, etc. — or are shaped like the Greek letter that’s come to represent the mathematical constant.

Julio Guerrero lamented the comparatively small turnout of pies this year.

“We have like seven pies. We usually have 25,” said Julio Guerrero. “In the past, people usually donated from other departments. This time around, the Math Department provided the pies.”

As the volunteers set up, students and faculty lingered nearby, eagerly awaiting their treat.

“I’m looking forward to the free pie,” said LMC student Perry Guerrero, who was attending the event for the first time.

“Who doesn’t want free pie? It’s here for grabs,” added LMC student Valentino Spencer. “It’s cool – the idea that 3/14 at 1:59- that we eat pie at the time as pi.”

A physicist named Larry Shaw organized the earliest known Pi Day celebration at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988. It included an assortment of fruit pies that he and his fellow staff members consumed.

Perrone hopes more students will take part in the Pi Day event next year, as it is a “delicious holiday.