Celebrating Einstein’s birthday on Pi Day

More than 6,000 members of the Princeton University campus and local communities kicked off the annual Pi Day events, which commemorate Albert Einstein’s birthday through math-related activities. The celebration began with a series of events in the local community and on campus Friday through Sunday, March 9-11. Events will continue on Wednesday, March 14, with various activities including “Public Issue Day 2012,” which is organized by Princeton graduate students.

Pi is the numerical value of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and is often abbreviated to 3.14. Einstein, who was born on March 14, 1879, shares the first three digits of his birthday (3.14) with pi.

Einstein lived in Princeton during the last 22 years of his life and had an office on campus, but was not a member of the University faculty. He was a faculty member at the neighboring Institute for Advanced Study and an important member of the larger intellectual community of Princeton.

Born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany in 1879, Albert Einstein developed the special and general theories of relativity. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize for physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. He died on April 18, 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey.