Steven Strogatz, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics in the College of Arts & Sciences and author of "The Joy of X," explains the origin and meaning of pi in a New York Times op-ed.

"For some people, Pi Day is an occasion to marvel at circles, long revered as symbols of perfection, reincarnation and the cycles of nature," Strogatz writes. "But it is the domestication of infinity that we really should be celebrating. Mathematically, pi is less a child of geometry than an early ancestor of calculus, the branch of mathematics, devised in the 17th century, that deals with anything that curves, moves or changes continuously."