Pi(e) Day is a tasty celebration, no matter how you slice it

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COLUMBIA - Local "pie" businesses offered special deals Wednesday in honor of Pi Day, the annual celebration of the mathematical figure "Pi."

The U.S. celebrates Pi day on March 14 every year, referencing the first three digits of Pi (3.14).

Columbia's Pizza Tree, Peggy Jean's Pies and Shakespeare's Pizza all offered discounts or promotions on their pies. 

Pizza Tree cooked up deep-dish Chicago Pizza, Wednesday only, and gave out free slices to math teachers.

Peggy Jean's Pies discounted its smaller pie sizes by $3.14.

Shakespeare's challenged customers to recite as many digits of Pi as they could, offering 25 cents off per digit on a dine-in 16 inch pizza. The deal ended after 16 digits, or $4.

Pi has infinite digits.

Columbia resident Anne Carter waitedin a line that went out the door at Peggy Jean's Pies for her chocolate bourbon and baby cherry pies. 

"Pi day is always a special day, and they have a really great discount," she said. "It's like a win-win-win."

The mathematical definition of Pi is the ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter, or how many times its width could be wrapped around the circle. 

Mathematics Professor Stephen Montgomery-Smith said people use Pi more than they realize.

"That's used for all sorts of things, like polling, collecting data about farms, all sorts of stuff," he said. "It's actually shockingly useful."

Montgomery-Smith said Pi factors in most of the day-to-day devices people use, includingcellphone hardware.

The Greek symbol Pi (π) was first used for math in 1737 by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler.