The number 3.14 represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, but if the depleted bakery sections of local grocery stores are any indication, it also represents party time in Boulder.

"I went to King Soopers this morning to buy some pie, but they were almost all gone," said Judith Packer, chairwoman of University of Colorado's Math Department. "I think everybody's getting into Pi Day."

Math lovers have been celebrating pi every March 14 since 1988, but it wasn't until 2009 that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution officially recognizing National Pi Day.

On Thursday, at exactly 1:59 p.m. -- pi is infinite, and the three digits after 3.14 are 1, 5 and 9 -- about 30 people gathered at CU's Mathematics Building in honor of the beloved mathematical constant.

"Pi is an amazing number. It's kind of mysterious," CU graduate student Jeff Shriner said. "It's fun to celebrate such an important concept."

And celebrate they did, with five different pies and a tray of pi-themed cupcakes. Peeps, the popular marshmallow treats, also made a cameo appearance.

"This gets people excited to think about math," said Jeanne Clelland, a math professor. "If people want to eat some pie and think it's cool, that's great."

Clelland said she hopes Pi Day helps change the public perception of mathematicians as uncool.

"It's socially acceptable to not like math, and that's not a very productive attitude," she said. "Everyone thinks mathematicians are nerds and that we don't socialize. If anything, (Pi Day) is one moment when you can say math is cool, or at least tasty."


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Contact Camera Staff Writer Alex Burness at 303-473-1361 or burnessa@dailycamera.com.