If you are a student of Mathematics, you would have heard of this famous number, pi, or represented by the Greek symbol, π. You also know that it simply describes how the circumference of a circle varies with its diameter, and that it is the ratio of the two.

It is roughly 3.14, but not exactly: pi is an irrational number, meaning the digits go on forever without repeating (can you imagine that?).

“Pi is an incredibly important number,” says Chris Budd, who teaches at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. He continues thus:

We have to calculate it to very high precision for modern technology such as GPS to work at all…  It can be used to describe the geometry of the world.

Remember that it is GPS that makes Google Maps and other real-time navigation maps possible. It also helps pilots to fly airplanes safely, sailors to navigate the seas, and the gathering of intelligence reports by security agencies, among other important uses.

In fact, there is a day dedicated to pi (π), and if you guessed right, that day is the fourteenth day of March which if written in numeric form will be 3.14, see the relationship?

Pi has even inspired a movie, The Life of Pi, and has also inspired people to write in Pilish – which simply means writing the length of words in a manner that match the numbers as written in the sequence of digits in pi.

See examples of piems (poems written in Pilish) below:

Wow (3), a (1) star (4)

A (1) fiery (5) supernova (9)

In (2) cosmic (6) burst (5)

Wow! (3)

Yes, I want,

A slice,

Delicious pi,


Keep this in mind the next time Mathematics brings you in contact with all-important pi. But until then, are you feeling creative enough to come up with a piem? Do share with us, we would love to see it.

This article was adapted from BBC Earth