Pi Day

Saint Mary’s attempts world record on Pi Day

Students try to make the world's largest Pi symbol but fall short of record

Saint Mary's students gathered in an attempt to set a world record on Pi Day.
Saint Mary’s students gathered in an attempt to set a world record on Pi Day.   Taylor Olie

About 200 people descended on the field at Saint Mary’s University on Monday, but it wasn’t enough to set a world record for the largest Pi symbol.

The Saint Mary’s University Engineering Society rallied the school together in an attempt to set a record on Pi Day, March 14.

Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is a constant number and has been calculated to be one trillion numbers past the decimal. According to Piday.org, the endless number has become a pastime to memorize.

“What’s bigger than a world record?” said Annika Benson, a mechanical engineering student and one of the organizers of the Pi Day attempt.

“We chose Pi because it is something that not only engineering students use but also mathematics and chemistry students. It really brings people together in that way.”

The weather was chilly, so the engineering society offered cookies and hot chocolate to keep the participants warm. The announcer even offered pies to tempt passersby into joining the event.

The formation of the Pi symbol took about 15 minutes.

Organizers used a drone camera to get a photo from above of all of the participants.

Two of the participants.
Two of the participants.   Taylor Olie

Rebecca Morton participated because it sounded like something fun to do on campus.

“This was set up by engineering students and so a lot of these people use Pi all the time. I’m an arts student though, but I’m nerdy and thought it would be fun to do,” said Morton.

Benson said the previous world record set in Frankfurt, Germany, consisted of about 590 people. The turnout at Saint Mary’s wasn’t big enough to tie or surpass it.

He said it wasn’t a total loss, though.

“This gives us something to work towards for next year and we still got a bunch of people out here to celebrate Pi Day and to have a good time. People are mingling and socializing and I’m happy about that.”

Have a story idea? Let us know