GUWAHATI, March 15 - The Department of Mathematics, University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) on Tuesday celebrated Pi Day, which is the celebration of the mathematical constant ? (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of ?.

In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. The Department of Mathematics at USTM had taken the initiative to observe Pi Day in a bid to motivate and encourage the students of mathematics so that they get to realise the importance of the subject and the career options that they may take up in future.

The objective of observing Pi Day was to popularise the concept of Pi amongst the students of USTM.

The programme was inaugurated by Dr PG Rao, VC, USTM, followed by felicitation of the guest speaker Dr Prabin Das, retired professor, Arya Vidyapeeth College here. The students of the department presented papers based on various topics related to mathematics such as trigonometry, calculus, number theory and graph theory.

Dr Das elaborated on the concept of pi and its significance to resolve mathematical problems. He reminded the students that since pi is an irrational number and its complete value cannot be obtained, super computers are being used by scholars of mathematics to calculate the infinite numbers implied in the concept of pi.

Dr Das also alluded to the Rhind papyrus, a famous document from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom that dates back to 1650 BC. It was purchased by Henry Rhind in Egypt in 1858, and placed in the British Museum in 1864 by his estate.