Pi Day, the annual March 14 math-centric holiday, will be celebrated across the country on Friday.

Happy Pi Day

The number Pi, approximately 3.14, represents the mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It’s used to determine the area of a circle and the volume of a sphere, among other mathematical calculations.

While Pi Day has been celebrated by enthusiasts for decades, the House of Representatives officially designated March 14 National Pi Day in 2009. Larry Shaw (above), who previously worked at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, is thought to be the first person to make the date a celebration of the mathematical constant. His first Pi Day was in 1988.

To this day, the Exploratorium takes Pi Day seriously. They even have a Pi Procession in which participants carry the first nine digits – not just the first three – of Pi. On Pi Day, men, women and children across the country celebrate with pi-related activities and all variety of pies – from fruit to pizza.

Since Pi Day is incidentally also the birthdate of Albert Einstein, Princeton, N.J., where the scientist spent the last couple decades of his life, honor him as well as Pi. There’s a pizza pie-making contest – and a tour of Einstein’s old haunts.

So, why has Pi Day become such a massive event in the last several years? Author David Blatner believes that people relish the chance to show a “fun” side to math and sciences.

"People all around the world are hungry to make science and math fun and interesting," Blatner told CNN. "We know math and science is important, we know that it's fascinating, but we often don't know how to make it fun and interesting. Pi Day gives us a great excuse to throw away our fear of math and say 'Hey, it IS kind of neat!' "

– Chelsea Regan

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