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Celebrate Pi Day with an extra slice of knowledge

The year was 1988, the day was Monday and the place – San Fransisco. A physicist named Larry Shaw at the San Fransisco Science museum realized the date and said,

it’s March 14th, the number of Pi – let’s celebrate.

And that is how the tradition came about. On March 12, 2009, the day became official when the US House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution, recognizing March 14 as National Pi Day. Since then, from math enthusiasts reciting pi numbers in contests (it’s an infinite number), to food enthusiasts eating pie, Pi Day has been celebrated everywhere.

However, the question lies – what makes this day so special? How can an irrational number be so famous?

It turns out that pi is not just used in middle school math textbooks, but contributes to many areas of study such as biology, astronomy, and drug design, to help broaden the understanding of certain concepts.

Discover how pi impacts different fields of science and enroll in an edX course to make your Pi Day celebration even better – through learning.

1. Astronomy

Pi helps in searching for planets outside our solar system. It does so by measuring the density of the planet, the formula being- 4/3 Pi times the radius3.

Introduction To Solar Systems Astronomy – ASUx – March 14, 2016 – Credit Eligible 

In this introductory 4-credit hour lecture and laboratory course, you will explore the origins, structure, contents, and evolution of our solar system and exosolar planetary systems. Additionally, learners will have the opportunity to virtually walk through fascinating sites like the Lunar Exploration Museum and ASU’s Moeur Building.

2. Biology 

The double helix structure revolves around pi and biochemists use it to understand the structure and function of DNA.

DNA:Biology’s Genetic Code – RiceX – March 8, 2016 

This biology and life sciences course will explore DNA structure, including topics such as it’s location, movement, function, and the types of damage which affect it’s structure.

3. Drug Design 

Designing a drug requires various calculations which involve figuring out molecular surface areas and volume of spheres. These very calculations require the use of pi. 

Medicinal Chemistry: The Molecular Basis of Drug Discovery – DavidsonX – March 21, 2016

From touching upon essential concepts like the history of drug discovery, to providing an understanding of the entire drug approval process, this chemistry course will show you how effective drugs are made.

Learn how such an irrational number can actually be used in numerous rational concepts by enrolling today and celebrating pi day the right way.

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