Mathematically Yummy Pi Day Celebrations

Mathematically Yummy Pi Day Celebrations

Today (3-14, get it?) is a great day to celebrate math and pie. Pi (π), the never-repeating, infinite number representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (3.14159... and on and on), is always the same for any circle, no matter how big or small.

To start your Pi Day celebration mathematically, you can memorize a few of pi's digits, write a piem, use the Pi-Search to find a special series of numbers, or read about pi and other mathematical concepts. Then to complete the circle, bake a savory or sweet pie and, using pi, calculate its area (A = πr2) or volume (V = πr2h). Check out some of these pie recipes in this list to get started.


Compiled by:
Paula G. O.

Baking

American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza

Peter Reinhart
641.8248 Rei

Baking a pizza pie is a super great way to share a love of pi.  Pizza lends itself to so many calculations using pi.  In Reinhart's search for the perfect pizza, he details over 60 recipes for doughs, sauces, toppings and pizza styles.  If you are looking to revamp your own homemade pizza, this book will give you a lot of new options to try.


The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us

Rosanna Pansino
Adult Nonfiction - 641.86 Pan

This is one of my favorite nerdy cookbooks.  There are so many fun recipes for your next special nerdy occasion.  I had to include the book on this list for Pansino's pi apple pie.  She cuts the apple pieces into numbers to put in the pie and then decorates the crust with numbers in pi order around the edge.  It is really pi art!


Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour and Butter

Kate Lebo
Adult Nonfiction - 641.8652 Leb

I love that each chapter of this book focuses on a specific type of pie, be it apple, rhubarb or chiffon, and then provides several variations on the theme.  Since a perfect crust is at the heart of any delicious pie, this Lebo includes detailed instructions for making extra flaky and gluten free options.  Pie School has some great options for making pie to commemorate your pi festivities.


Pies: Sweet and Savory

Caroline Bretherton
Adult Nonfiction - 641.8652 Bre

This pie tome is organized by key ingredients and includes a very large selection of savory pies.  A lot of classic pies are included, but also new flavor combinations that look delicious.  We are probably all familiar with chicken pot pie, but this book includes a whole chapter of poultry pies and tarts to sample.  A feast of Pi Day choices in this volume.


Math

Here's Looking at Euclid: A Surprising Excursion Through the Astonishing World of Math

Alex Bellos
513 Bel

Bellos takes readers on a mathematical journey around the world.  He recounts historical stories about various concepts of math to modern day math at work in origami in Japan.  In his chapter on pi, he tells about visiting two brothers that were so obsessed with the number that they built a supercompter in their Manhattan apartment to study it.  Travel, history and math provide for a very entertaining combination.


How to Bake π: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics

Eugenia Cheng
Adult Nonfiction - 510.1 Che

Of course we all use math when following a recipe to measure ingredients, but Cheng creatively uses cooking as a way to explain how broader math concepts work.  Her culinary analogies help us understand everything from abstraction to category theory in the very real world of our kitchens and other interesting places.  Not a lot of pi or pie in this book, but a great blend of math in life.


Numbers: Their Tales, Types, and Treasures

Alfred S. Posamentier
Adult Nonfiction - 513.5 Pos

Alfred S. Posamentier and Bernd Thaller give us a broad history of numbers and why humans seem to be hard wired to think in numerical terms.  The charts and graphs sprinkled throughout the book add visual understanding to the text.  The chapter on special numbers like pi and the Fibonacci sequence emphasize the fascinating and unique properties of these numbers. 


Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel

Jason Padgett
155.935 Pad

A violent mugging changed the way Jason Padgett's brain works.  He went from being a guy that never made it past pre-algebra in high school to a savant obsessed with visions of pi.  His mathematical synesthesia allows him see numbers as shapes and the book includes beautiful drawings he's created of mathematical patterns he sees.  It is a fascinating story of an unusual person with a lot of interesting math in the mix.


Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension: A Mathematician's Journey Through Narcissistic Numbers, Optimal Dating Algorithms, at Least Two Kinds of Infinity, and More

Matt Parker
Adult Nonfiction - 510 Par

Parker gives readers a nice set of games, puzzles and other hands-on activities to draw us into the fun side of math.  Learning a few of these activities will give you some fun, math tricks to try on Pi Day or whenever you need to impress friends with some mad math skills. 


Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math

Daniel Tammet
Adult Nonfiction - 510 Tam

Tammet is an autistic savant but one of the few that is able to live independently and share with us how his mind works.  He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures and is able to learn foreign languages in only a week.  He tells a series of wonderful stories about math and how it relates to the world at large.  You can also check out this more thorough review of Thinking on Numbers from Dory.