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What is Pi Day and why is it celebrated on March 14?

This Thursday, March 14, Pi Day is celebrated for another year, (3/14 in the date notation in the United States) with activities to disseminate mathematics around the world.

This celebration was an idea by physicist Larry Shaw in 1988, in San Francisco, and has been gaining in popularity, to the point of having a favorable resolution from the United States House of Representatives in 2009, in which it was officially declared on March 14 as National Pi Day.

Usually, the celebration is concentrated at 01:59 PM (in recognition of the six-digit approximation: 3.14159), although some people claim that it is actually 1:59 PM, so the correct thing to do would be to celebrate at 01:59 AM.

The “definitive” pi moment would have occurred on March 14, 1592 at 06:53:58 (AM). This, written in US format, would be 03/14/1592 06.53.58, which would correspond to the value of pi expressed in twelve digits: 3.14159265358. Considering that this was a long time before time was standardized around the world and pi was not a concept in general use, the date has most likely been changed throughout history, Wikipedia reports.

March 14, 2015 is also considered acceptable, since it represents the number pi by being represented abbreviated as 03/14/15. Specifically, at 09:26:53 in the morning a set comparable to the number pi expressed with nine decimal places is formed: 3.141592653.

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