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.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pizza, then Pi and finally Pies — What More Can You Want on a Well-Rounded Pi Day?

Graphing Circumference vs Diameter of various round objects
Tuesday, March 14 was Pi Day (3.14)  What better excuse is there to have a celebration of math with middle schoolers than π?     Last Friday night, well over 250 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.
After feeling a jar lid in the box, making an estimate of it's circumference in mm

After enjoying pizza donated by the Bickoff family of the Commercial Cleaning Service (discounted by White Sport), the students from the Healey School, who were joined by students from, East Somerville, Argenziano, West Somerville and Kennedy Schools went around to a wide variety of math activities set up in the gym.  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, graphing circumference vs diameter, predicting circumferences in mm by feel of objects in mystery boxes.
Predicting how far the bike wheel will roll in 1.5 revolutions

The event was planned by Wil Jacques (Healey), Jen Rodriguez (Healey), and Erica Voolich (Somerville Mathematics Fund) with help from Scott Weaver (ESCS) and Jonathan Killian (Argenziano).  Table Talk Pies of Worcester generously supplied small pies for all who came that night and large pies for the winners of events.  Table Talk has generously supported this Somerville Math Fund event for fourteen years.

Estimating the number of objects in the jars
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.  Fourteen 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 than 56,832 pies to schools and organizations celebrating pi day — but most likely the pi day celebrations were delayed all over New England thanks to the March Pi Day Nor’easter.

Finding their birth date in Pi
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!
Making Pi Buttons
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 renewable 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.
Drawing a cardioid using only straight lines

The link to this page is http://somervillemathematics.blogspot.com/2017/03/pizza-then-pi-and-finally-pies-what.html
©2017 Erica Dakin Voolich