College of Idaho has celebrated Pi day on March 14 for more than a decade, but this year the festivities were record-breaking. The C of I Math Cub got 600 people, many of them students, to wear numbered t-shirts and line up in the Jake Gym on campus, creating the largest-ever human representation of pi, breaking the previous world record of 520 people.
“We were able to open up the record to the surrounding community as well, and I saw people bringing in their family members and friends,” said Natasha Dacic, president of the Math Club.
The club submitted its application to Guinness in November 2017, and its eight members have been working to meet its goal since then. They prepared for months for the big day, submitting paperwork, reading the book of rules, enlisting volunteers and even liaising with city mayors.
“The mayors of Caldwell and Nampa served as our independent witnesses. They oversaw the entire process, and they were the counters,” explained Dacic.
- McKenzie Young
- C of I Math Club President Natasha Dacic helped pass out tie-dye shirts to volunteers.
When the event opened just after noon, volunteers started to flood into the gym. There was a smooth transition from number one (who wore a shirt bearing the number three) to number 600, and the gym filled up quickly. Beyond the doors a line of people waited to join the group, and the queue stretched around the entire building and beyond. Participants were able to keep their shirts, and were provided snacks while they waited. The two mayors used clickers to keep track of the number of participants who had entered the doors. When the mayors clicked in the last person, number 600, a horn blared to celebrate the success.
The club will be submitting its proof to Guinness next week and hopes to hear back within a few months for confirmation of their success. In addition to joining the record-breaking lineup, attendees could also donate money for “Pie a Professor,” to vote on which professor would take a pie to the face. All event proceeds went to C of I summer camp STEM programs.
“Pi day is one of the few events that invites the entire campus community," said Dacic. "It’s not just people from the math and physics department; it’s getting all disciplines, all majors, all minors, staff, faculty and students to come together and celebrate Pi day and bring that community atmosphere on campus … It’s the 15th-year celebration of pi here
at College of Idaho, and what better way than to do something extraordinary?"