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Mar 3, 2009

Square Root Day


Exciting Day For Math Geeks

Steven Musil says "Count on Tuesday's alignment of the calendar to add some excitement to the lives of at least a few math geeks.

Square Root Day is a rare holiday that occurs when the day and the month are both the square root of the last two digits of the current year. Numerically, March 3, 2009, can be expressed as 3/3/09, or mathematically as √9 = 3, or 3² = 3 × 3 = 9."

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From Associated Press--The math-buffs' holiday, which only occurs nine times each century, falls on Tuesday — 3/3/09 (for the mathematically challenged, three is the square root of nine). The last such day was five years ago, Feb. 2, 2004, which coincided with Groundhog Day. The next is seven years away, on April 4, 2016.

"These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day — and poof — they're gone," said Ron Gordon, a Redwood City teacher who started a contest meant to get people excited about the event.

The winner gets, of course, $339 for having the biggest Square Root Day event.

Gordon's daughter even set up a Facebook page — one of a half-dozen or so dedicated to the holiday — and hundreds of people had signed up with plans to celebrate in some way. Celebrations are as varied: Some cut root vegetables into squares, others make food in the shape of a square root symbol.

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More Math Celebrations

Square Root Day isn't the only humorous holiday celebrated in the math world.

Pi Day is observed each March 14 (3.14), while Pi Approximation Day falls on July 22 (roughly equal to 22/7). The first Pi Day was observed in 1988 by staff at the San Francisco Exploratorium, who walked around in circles.

How will you celebrate?