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Mill Creek Elementary Student Breaks School's Pi Record; Recites 550 Digits

Michelle Wang, Yash Shah, and Michael Daanen are the first, second, and third place winners, respectively, of the Pi Day challenge.
Michelle Wang, Yash Shah, and Michael Daanen are the first, second, and third place winners, respectively, of the Pi Day challenge.

Fifth grader Michelle Wang bested Mill Creek Elementary School’s Pi Day record by 85 digits during the school’s annual Pi Day grade level event on March 14 by memorizing and reciting 550 digits of Pi. 

Pi, the Greek letter “π”, is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter – which is approximately 3.14159. 

With the aid of modern technology, Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal, but literally, the possible calculations are infinite. This infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize and to calculate more and more digits. 

Pi Day is celebrated around the world each year on March 14 – or 3/14 – and is observed at Mill Creek Elementary School with a fifth grade competition to see who can memorize the most digits of Pi. 

The school’s previous record was held by James Warwick, now a freshman at Geneva High School. As a Mill Creek fifth grader in 2010, James memorized 465 digits. 

Ten students qualified to compete in this year’s final, which ended up breaking James’ record twice – by Michelle Wang with 550 digits and Yash Shah with 480 digits. Michael Daanen came in third place by reciting 351 digits. 

Source: Geneva Community Unit School District 304 press release 

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