π day forever


π day comes around every year on March 14, right?  3.14.

With all the other commemorative resolutions that zip through Congress, how could anyone vote against an official, federal designation of π day?

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz voted against the resolution.  Does he have a point?  He’s either a fool or a genius, Burr and Canham report in the Salt Lake Tribune:

Quote of the Week

“How can you vote in favor of Pi Day, if it’s just one day. Pi Day should be forever,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Chaffetz was one of just 10 members of Congress to oppose designating March 14th as Pi Day, meant to encourage math education. It honors the famous number pi (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter), which starts as 3.14 and goes on forever.

When asked if this is really why he voted against the resolution, Chaffetz said, “Absolutely.”

391 other members voted for the resolution.  H. Res 224, Supporting the designation of Pi Day and for other purposes, sponsored by Rep. Gordon Bart of Tennessee and 15 cosponsors, passed.  Full text below the fold, from the Library of Congress tracking application, Thomas.

Whereas the Greek letter (Pi) is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter; (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)

HRES 224 EH

H. Res. 224

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

March 12, 2009.

Whereas the Greek letter (Pi) is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter;

Whereas the ratio Pi is an irrational number, which will continue infinitely without repeating, and has been calculated to over one trillion digits;

Whereas Pi is a recurring constant that has been studied throughout history and is central in mathematics as well as science and engineering;

Whereas mathematics and science are a critical part of our children’s education, and children who perform better in math and science have higher graduation and college attendance rates;

Whereas aptitude in mathematics, science, and engineering is essential for a knowledge-based society;

Whereas, according to the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) survey done by the National Center for Education Statistics, American children in the 4th and 8th grade were outperformed by students in other countries including Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, England, South Korea, Latvia, and Japan;

Whereas since 1995 the United States has shown only minimal improvement in math and science test scores;

Whereas by the 8th grade, American males outperform females on the science portion of the TIMSS survey, especially in Biology, Physics, and Earth Science, and the lowest American scores in math and science are found in minority and impoverished school districts;

Whereas America needs to reinforce mathematics and science education for all students in order to better prepare our children for the future and in order to compete in a 21st Century economy;

Whereas the National Science Foundation has been driving innovation in math and science education at all levels from elementary through graduate education since its creation 59 years ago;

Whereas mathematics and science can be a fun and interesting part of a child’s education, and learning about Pi can be an engaging way to teach children about geometry and attract them to study science and mathematics; and

Whereas Pi can be approximated as 3.14, and thus March 14, 2009, is an appropriate day for `National Pi Day’: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
    • (1) supports the designation of a `Pi Day’ and its celebration around the world;
    • (2) recognizes the continuing importance of National Science Foundation’s math and science education programs; and
    (3) encourages schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about Pi and engage them about the study of mathematics.
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3 Responses to π day forever

  1. twoblueday says:

    I came from Cafe Philos.

    There are only 365 days. I don’t know how many “Days” there are (including Pi day), but suspect that if there aren’t already more “Days” than days, that day will come. Sort of like available spots for geosynchronus satellites.

    I am not a fan of “Days” (or the whole “Awareness” movement in general), and seldom take note of any of them.

    Like this

  2. Arthur Hunt says:

    Our official Pi Day celebration:

    1. Bake pie (this tear, with raspberries).

    2. Use pie to calculate pi.

    3. Eat pie.

    Like this

  3. Davis says:

    You gotta catch Chaffetz leg-wrestling on the Colbert Report to appreciate the man fully.

    Like this

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