March 3, 2009

Math Fans Celebrate Square Root Day

On Tuesday, math lovers across the country are celebrating national Square Root Day, a holiday that comes around only when the day and the month are both the square root of the last two digits of the current year.

For example, today's date "“ March 3, 2009, can numerically be expressed as 03/03/09. The last time square root day was celebrated was February 2, 2004 (2/2/04), and the next time won't occur until April 4, 2016 (4/4/16).

To celebrate "Squared Day", it is suggested that participants eat square radishes or other root vegetables that have been cut into shapes with square cross sections.

Ron Gordon, a Redwood City teacher told the AP that he created a contest to raise exposure for the holiday.

"These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day "” and poof "” they're gone," said Gordon.

The prize for Gordon's contest is naturally $339.

The last square root day of the century will occur on September 9, 2081 (9/9/81).

For the real math buffs, there is also Pi Day and Pi Approximation Day. Pi Day was first observed at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988, after being conceptualized by retired physicist Larry Shaw.

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14), due to being roughly equal to 3.14. Pi Approximation Day takes place on July 22, due to pi being roughly equal to 22/7.

To celebrate Pi Day, participants consume fruit pies and perform other circular activities.