Brendan Largay, Head of School

A Pi in the Face

A year ago, a former colleague of mine put a challenge to his students: whoever could recite the most digits of pi (?) would be rewarded with the opportunity to throw an actual pie in his face. I loved it! What a great way to inspire an appreciation for the playfulness of mathematics. Sometime later I found myself in a conversation with (then) fourth grader, Rosie Schrag. A lover of mathematics herself, Rosie prides herself on her knowledge of the digits that follow the decimal point in pi. For those who haven’t brushed up on their geometry lately, pi is the number that expresses the ratio between the circumference of a circle and the circle’s diameter. It is notorious for never repeating its number pattern after the decimal point. Competitions are held far and wide to see who can recite the most digits of pi.  

So, when Rosie told me that she had memorized and could accurately recite 314 consecutive numbers following the decimal point of pi, the math seemed simple. I told Rosie that if on the next pi day—March 14, or 3.14—she recited 314 consecutive digits that follow the decimal, I would, naturally, take a pie the face. This week’s snow days postponed the bet until this afternoon. The following video captures what happened. Have a great week everyone.  

And no, I will not be making this bet again anytime soon.

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