Usually, Denison students are on spring break when March 14 (3/14), Pi Day rolls around. But this year Denison was in session and held its first-ever Pi-athlon – a competition centered around all things pi. Dr. Sarah Wolff was the official Pi-czar, borrowing an idea from the Math Department at St. Lawrence. It was a busy day of competition with Dr. Tom Bressoud opening the ceremonies at 10:30 (the pi-czar pro-tempe) while Dr. Wolff was in class. 17 teams competed until 3:14 that afternoon, trying to score as close to 314.159265358979323846… (pi * 100) as possible. Complete a Rubik’s cube – 100 points. Recite as many digits (n) of pi as you can – 1 to n points, your choice. Complete a percentage of a pi-inspired Sudoku – earn that decimal amount.
The winning teams, The BA Math Girls – Kirsten Audette, Maddie Boster, and Leah Reinfranck and Team Team Name – Lauren Robbins, Caileigh Marshall, and Kayla Boggess, both realized finding 2/14 of the rooms on campus with the room number 314 was very useful! Of course, there was plenty of pie on hand for all contestants to enjoy. Students were so excited to have this fun, stress-relieving break right at midterms, that we are already planning the Denison Pi-athlon for next year, even if it isn’t on 3/14.