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Math department celebrates Pi Day in style

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire math department is serious about numbers and supporting students, and to prove that point, students and professors got together and shared pies on international "Pi Day."

Well, shared is a polite way to describe what occurred on the day the calendar hits "3/14" and math geeks celebrate the number (3.14) that represents a mathematical constant: the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Pi Day at UW-Eau Claire saw dozens of pies thrown at cooperative professors and students, and more than $600 was raised during the process for the student Math Club.

Math Club vice president Kelsey Jensen, who helped set up a penny jar war to determine the professors and students who would be greeted with pies, said the UW-Eau Claire math department is something special.

"Our professors in the math department are really great about involved and volunteering to help," Kelsey said. "This was a fun event to be part of because our professors can interact with their students and build relationships with them outside the classroom."

Math faculty who caught pies with their faces included Chris Hlas, Kris Presler, Charles Bingen, Chris Davis, Jessica Kraker and Aba Mbirika.

Main Street Bakery Cafe donated 30 pies for the cause, and Kelsey said the money raised will help the Math Club cater lunch during finals week for students majoring and minoring in math. The Main Street Bakery Cafe pies were sold by the slice to help raise money, while whipped cream pies were used during the pie toss to ensure no serious desserts were wasted.

Photo caption: Associate professor of mathematics Chris Hlas prepares to catch a pie with his face on Pi Day at UW-Eau Claire.