Slices of Pi: The History and Humanity of a Famous Number

Travis Kowalski, Interim Head of the Department of Mathematics

Every March 14, math enthusiasts and pun lovers celebrate National Pi Day on the (extremely silly) grounds that the well-known mathematical constant pi (π) is about 3.14. That fact, along with a formula or two about circles, is probably as much as most people can remember about the number. However, the story of how we came to discover, name and attempt to tame pi stretches across centuries and cultures … and it’s a story that continues to unfold to this very day. Join Dr. Travis Kowalski for a romp through mathematics, history, art and science, and learn how those pieces of pi fit together. (Also, pi puns. Lots of pi puns.)

STEAM Café is a series of free informal talks by South Dakota School of Mines & Technology faculty and staff, as well as visiting experts. The series is a partnership between the university, South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Hay Camp Brewing Company.

An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, STEAM Café is held at 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month, at Hay Camp. A food truck will be available at each STEAM Café for meal purchase, and handcrafted beer will be available for purchase from Hay Camp.  



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Rapid City, SD 57701

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