A holiday associated with a math concept may not seem that exciting, especially for those not fond of the subject. However, America’s Pi (“π”) Day – observed annually on March 14 (3/14) to honor the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, widely recognized as 3.14 – is an exception. That’s because the celebrations don’t just include fun math activities, but also a slice, or two, of yummy pie!
The tradition of honoring the geometrical constant, whose precise value remains elusive even after being calculated to over thirteen trillion digits beyond its decimal point, began at San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum. On March 14, 1988, at 1:59 PM PST, the museum’s then-technical curator, the late Larry Shaw, convinced colleagues to celebrate the day – which also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday – by parading around one of the museum’s circular spaces and consuming fruit pies. The group had such a good time that museum officials decided to make Pi Day an annual event where visitors are treated to special pi-related activities, including a parade to a special “Pi shrine,” and, of course, some delicious pie. Schools, libraries, and universities, around the country, soon began organizing similar activities and in 2009, US lawmakers made the celebration official by declaring March 14 as Pi Day!
On October 26, Saudi Arabia made history by becoming the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a non-human. The stunning announcement came shortly after Sophia, a humanoid robot, had completed a live interview at the Future Investment Initiative held in the capital city of Riyadh from October 24 to 26. The three-day summit was organized by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to connect the world’s most powerful investors, thought leaders, and public officials to future innovations.
The Audrey Hepburn look-alike android graciously accepted the recognition saying, “I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.” Though details on what the citizenship will mean for Sophia are sparse, the news did make headlines around the world.