Welcome to Somerville Mathematics

Welcome to Somerville Mathematics, a blog devoted to exciting mathematical things happening in Somerville MA. I am the founder of The Somerville Mathematics Fund, www.Somervillemathematicsfund.org
The Math Fund was chartered to celebrate and encourage mathematics achievement in Somerville. I hope you will check out my TEDxSomerville talk on the Somerville Math Fund,
I find that there are many other interesting things happening mathematically in Somerville and I hope on this blog to have others share what they are doing. So please contact me at mathfund@gmail.com if you would like to contribute an article.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pizza, then Pi and finally Pies — What More Can You Want on Ultimate Pi Day?

Drawing a nephroid with straight lines

Saturday, March 14 was Pi Day (3.14) -- but not just any π Day, it was Ultimate π Day because it is 2015:  3.14.15!  What better excuse is there to have a celebration of math with middle schoolers than π?     Well over 200 students, parents, teachers, and volunteers  from the high school, PTA and community, celebrated π  at the Healey School by eating pizza for dinner, then spending an evening estimating, creating, collecting data, answering questions, and ending with pies for everyone.
Graphing Diameter vs Circumference

After enjoying pizza donated by the Bickoff family (discounted by White Sport), the students from Healey, who were joined by students from East Somerville Community School (ESCS), and Argenziano schools went around to a wide variety of math activities set up in the gym and cafeteria.
Drawing circles using tangents.

These activities included: bicycle wheel roll, guessing contest, tooth pick drop (Buffon Needle problem), drawing a circle the size of a CD, mystery boxes, π button design, π facts quiz, birthday in π, circle in square vs square in circle, drawing cardioid or nephroid, drawing concentric circles by folding, drawing circles by tangents, drawing circle by right angles, predicting how high of a pour, predicting circumferences and radii, and graphing circumference vs diameter.
Pitching pennies to determine a better target:
a circle in a square or a square in a circle.

The event was planned by Wil Jacques (Healey), Scott Weaver (ESCS), and Erica Voolich (Somerville Mathematics Fund).  Table Talk Pies of Worcester generously supplied small pies for all who came that night and large pies for winners of events.  Table Talk has generously supported this Somerville Math Fund event for twelve years.  Star Market/Shaws (Beacon Street) generously donated most of the juice.
Drawing a cardioid using straight lines.

When planning the first SMF π Night in 2003, the Math Fund called the Table Talk Pi Company and explained what π day was and Table Talk generously donated large pies for prizes and small pies for everyone.  Eleven years later, Table Talk Pies is not only still donating to the the Somerville Pi night celebration, but to many more celebrations.   In fact, this year Table Talk donated more than 43,000 pies to schools celebrating pi day.
Taking a π facts quiz.

A big thank you to all the volunteers and donors who made this fun, educational evening possible.  It takes a community to celebrate π day!
Estimating circumference in mm by feel.

The Somerville Mathematics Fund, was founded in 2000 with the mission to celebrate and encourage mathematics achievement in Somerville MA.  In April they will be looking for applications for college mathematics scholarships.  For more information or to make a donation or to volunteer, www.somervillemathematicsfund.org or mathfund@gmail.com or call 617-666-0666.

The link to the page is http://somervillemathematics.blogspot.com/2015/03/pizza-then-pi-and-finally-pies-what.html
©2015, Erica Dakin Voolich