Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Pi Day

Tuesday, March 14, 1:59 pm, 2011

"3.14159 Come on Lehigh, hit 'em with a log!" 

Is that corny, or what? That line actually came from the Lehigh University fight song -- my college alma mater. We were the Engineers*, and guess what our colors were? Brown and white -- the brown-and-white engineering nerds of Lehigh. How pitiful is that? Instead of having cute little stuffed animals on our beds that represented our mascot, we had slide rules and calculators. Haha ... no we didn't, but I bet you weren't sure. 

*In all fairness to Lehigh, they have changed their mascot, and they are now known as the Mountain Hawks. 

I didn't wear brown and white but I did wear purple polka dots in honor of Pi Day. It was the closest that I could get to wearing something with circles -- pi (otherwise known as π or 3.14159) is the number you get when you divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter. 

shirt -- LL Bean (thrifted)
pants -- Morgan by Delia*s
shoes -- Dansko (outlet)

My pin is a Kenneth Jay Lane shoe pin, that was designed to "step out" and fight breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds of its sale went to support breast cancer research. It was made in sterling silver -- I have the gold tone version.


March 14th has been recognized as Pi Day since 1989 when Larry Shaw, a theoretical physicist who appears to fit every stereotype every written about a physicist, decided that it was the perfect day to celebrate this intriguing mathematical constant. It was Shaw's daughter who realized that the newly designated "Pi Day" also coincided with another notable day in the science world -- namely that of Albert Einstein's birthday, another theoretical physicist. 

Larry Shaw, the founder of Pi Day,
at the Exploratorium in San Francisco
Albert Einstein

Surprisingly enough, even the U.S. House of Representatives was able to agree on the importance of Pi Day and in 2009, passed H. RES. 224, supporting the designation of March 14th as Pi Day.    

Another disclaimer -- I majored in physics for 2 1/2 years while at Lehigh. I eventually switched majors, but it wasn't all that drastic of a switch. I graduated with a degree in geophysics, which was a concentration in geology, math, and physics. I went on to get my master's degree in materials science and engineering, with a concentration in the electrical properties of materials. I was interested in being able to design a material that had the properties you wanted. 

I don't think that I look like the stereotypical physicist though, do you? 


  1. Whoa, I learned a LOT about Pi day from your post, all while admiring the color of your top. So do you work as an engineer of some sort now?

  2. LOL Larry has quite the beard!
    Think he spent more time with math than a razor and a mirror. Ha Ha

  3. From the photos of Larry and Albert, no, no you do not look like the typical physicist. And if I can be frank, thank goodness. I prefer your more cleaned up, less crazy looks!

  4. @Terri ... not anymore. I worked for awhile as a geophysicist for NJ, mapping plumes of contaminated groundwater. Then I went to grad school, had kids, stayed home, and went back to school again for a cert in tech writing.

    @silvergirl ... yeah, they both looked like they weren't too sure what to do with their hair. But my hair can look like that on occasion.

    @Gracey ... . I think I prefer me this way too! But I am like the stereotype in some ways.


Thanks for reading. Honest opinions and constructive criticism are always welcome.

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