For Pi Day this year, American River College’s math department will be holding a presentation about the history of the number pi, answering questions students may have about math, and organizing games and activities with prizes such as pies and pi themed t-shirts.
While last year’s Pi Day talk was about math careers, this year will focus on the number pi itself, and will cover such topics as why there are competitions to calculate more digits of the number.
Rocio Owens, ARC math professor and the organizer of this year’s Pi Day event, said that March 14 became the day to celebrate Pi Day because of the date, 3-14, but because March 14 falls on a Saturday and Fridays are slow on campus the event is scheduled for March 12, to let more students participate.
“We are going to have the new games,” said Owens of changes compared to last year’s event.
Owens said that the goal of the event is to show students that the math department wants to be involved in the student’s college life and to invite students to come to talk to the department and to the professors.
Events like Pi Day aim to show students that there is more that math professors do than just teach math – they are friendly and they do fun things, too.
This year, ARC math club is involved in organizing Pi day.
“The folks that are going to be involved with (Pi Day), most likely it’ll be the three of us,” said Kalim Khogiani, math major and a president of the math club, referring to himself, former club president and current club member Christian Castaned and club treasurer Spencer Cvitanov.
Khogiani said the math club will also be selling Marie Callender’s pies.
Owens said that that pies were donated by Marie Callender and the percentage of the proceeds from selling the pies will be donated back to the math club.
Math club member and chemistry major Mira Susa said she didn’t go to Pi Day event last year but she plans to visit this year.
“If they hold it on the 12th, I might be able to [attend] after class.”
Jessika Alvarez, environmental studies major, said she didn’t know much about Pi Day or the event the math department is putting on.
“I had teachers in the past….. they are kind of big on it. But that’s pretty much it.”
Alvarez said she has never attended the event in the past, but if she’s not in class, she plans to attend.
Pi Day is one of the projects the math department is doing for students.
Glenn Pico, ARC math professor, said that besides Pi Day the math department has an Integration Bee, which is coming up after spring break.
Pico and professors Christopher Heeren and Vincent Jones will help students who participate in the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges, or AMATYC, a national precalculus competition that takes place twice a year.
Pico said that with these programs the math department aims to give students a memorable and enriched college experience, not just taking classes in the program and moving on.
Pico said that sometimes with things like the Integration Bee, students have memories that they’ll walk away from the event with and take those memories with them.
“You know, the person who won the Integration Bee,” Pico said, “it’s experience they’ll never forget.”