Math lovers, rejoice, for today is Pi Day, celebrated in classrooms around the country—preferably at 1:59, which, on 3/14, nearly matches 3.14159, the famed irrational number’s first six digits. “What’s fun about pi is that everyone knows the number,” a math professor tells the Daily Princetonian. “People feel they have an appreciation for what it means.”
Pi has enjoyed numerous cameos in popular culture, from Star Trek to "The Simpsons," and the devotion of researchers obsessed with knowing the number to the highest accuracy. Computers allowed our knowledge of pi to increase into the thousands of digits in the mid-20th century; the University of Tokyo’s Yasumasa Kanada holds the record, having computed over 6.4 billion digits.