Each Halloween, pumpkin carving seems to rise to new heights. We’ve seen pumpkins carved as witches, ghosts, cats, monsters — even pet portraits and landscapes. Denison University mathematics and computer science students are challenged to carve pumpkins around a unique theme, the mathematical symbol for pi. The number π, pronounced ‘pie,’ is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14159.
The contest, which has been a tradition at the college for nine years, was instigated by Jessen Havill, professor of mathematics and computer science. This year’s organizer, Lew Ludwig, associate professor of mathematics and computer science said, “Even after nine years I am still impressed by what our students come up with. They can be very creative and always have a good time trying to out do each other. Maybe for the 10th year there should be a faculty competition? Consider the gauntlet thrown!”
This year, 38 pumpkins were carved, displayed and judged, with a special prize awarded by Denison President Adam Weinberg for the “pumpkin that describes liberal arts at it’s finest.”
All the entries were on display at Monomoy House, home to the Weinberg family for the Halloween enjoyment of the community.