"Growing up, my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiv..."

University of Virginia

What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?

0 - 300 words

(University of Virginia)

Growing up, my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving was always the end: pie. Blueberry, pecan, pumpkin- you name it, and I’ll eat it. Because of my strong love for pie, my eyes lit up in math class the first time I heard reference to the number, pi. While I was originally disappointed to learn that this kind of pi was not edible, I would later become fascinated by pi and what it stood for.

Moving into higher levels of math, the little π symbol gained a much more substantial meaning. Understanding that pi actually represented the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, it started to play a greater role in my math through equations and formulas.

I also became fascinated by the difference it made in calculations when 3.14 was used to represent pi: much like a crust without filling, it just does not have the same result. The slightest difference in 3.14 and the small character could change an entire problem: much like one person can change an entire situation.

My fascination with pi and its irrationalness spread into my everyday life as I began recognized the importance that a small difference can make, whether in an equation or real life.

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