Students Compete in Pi-athalon Activities

How do you complete 3.14 events? Well, that’s exactly the challenge of Pi-athalon.

On Thursday, March 20, St. Lawrence University students formed teams of up to four people, and each team attempted to complete as many pi events as possible. The team that came closest to completing 3.14 events would be the winners Points earned can be both added or subtracted to get students to that magical mathematical number of pi.

“This is really a celebration of Pi-Day,” said Daniel Look, associate professor of mathematics. “The goal for them is to complete three full events, plus .14 events.”

Pi-Day is normally held on March 14 (3/14), however St. Lawrence students were on spring break.

Look delivered a presentation, titled “Celebrating Pi-Day with a Piathlon!” at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings, a national conference sponsored by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

One student who garnered quite a bit of attention was Fuilya Eroglu ’14 of Bellows Falls, Vt. Fuilya stunned students and even Look, as she recited 293 digits of pi.

“I’m so disappointed,” she exclaimed. “I can normally get to over 400. I don’t really know how I do it. I guess I just memorize them in blocks of numbers.”

Fuilya is a government major.

Some of the events included Just Dance 2, completing puzzles, watching TV and reciting as many pi digits as possible.

View a photo gallery of Piathalon events.