Washington politicians took time from bailouts and earmark-laden spending packages on Wednesday for what might seem like an unusual act: officially designating a National Pi Day. That's Pi as in ratio-of-a-circle's-circumference-to-diameter, better known as the mathematical constant beginning with 3.14159.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a resolution introduced two days earlier that designates March 14, 2009 (3/14, get it?) as National Pi Day. It urges schools to take the opportunity to teach their students about Pi and "engage them about the study of mathematics."
Backing the measure is a collection of technology and engineering groups, including the Association for Competitive Technology, the American Chemical Society, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, IEEE, TechAmerica, and TechNet.
They sent a letter after the vote to House Science Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) thanking him for introducing the measure, which is also sponsored by Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas, the panel's senior Republican. "Thank you for recognizing the importance of math and science education to a knowledge-based economy," it says.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Happy Pi Day!!!
Well, folks. Now it's official. Take a look:
And I say, "Three cheers!" Because the mathematical illiteracy in this country is appalling. (And this affects all sorts of things - including our politics. If people have no understanding of statistics, for example, they will not know how to interpret scientific studies and very poor policies are often the result.)