Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 14, 2014

Teachers inspire (and have fun) with math equation T-shirts

By Boris Ladwig Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – Happy Pi Day.

Greensburg High School math teachers have inspired their students since the beginning of the semester through T-shirts with a math equation that translates into an English sentence (sort of).

The teachers have donned the shirts each Friday, and students often walk up to them to ask what the shirt means.

Danielle Mize, math department chair, said she makes the students work through the equation to see if they can figure it out.

“I’m not going to just tell them. That’s no effort,” she said.

The shirts read, “√-1 2³ Σ π … and it was delicious.” (For a “translation” see bottom of the page).

Fellow math teacher Nicole Batta said the math faculty determined at the beginning of the year to wear the shirts after one of its regular meetings to discuss the curriculum and best teaching practices. Batta said the shirts represent the cohesion among the math staff, but also tell students that it’s OK to be geeky and that math can be fun.

Today marks another important day for the academic community: Pi Day falls on March 3rd, because 3/14 displays the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi, which describes the relationship between any circle’s circumference and diameter. Each circle’s circumference is its diameter multiplied by pi. Pi is a never ending sequence of numbers beginning with 3.14. (March 14 also is Albert Einstein’s birthday).

Translation: The square root of -1 is an imaginary number called “I.” Two to the third power equals 2x2x2, which equals 8. The sigma symbol represents a sum, and the last symbol represents pi. Therefore the sentence reads “I 8 sum pi,” or grammatically correct, “I ate some pie.”

Contact: Boris Ladwig 812-663-3111 x7401; boris.ladwig@greensburgdailynews.com