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March 3, 2009

Square Root Day

Posted: 12:56 PM ET

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/03/squares.cnn.jpg

caption="Square Root Day celebrates perfect squares like these. How many more can you name?"]
For years I have been celebrating March 14 (3/14) as Pi Day, which I have always considered the mathematical holiday of the highest importance - I mean, come on, it's Albert Einstein's birthday! - and never thought about commemorating any other day for its numerical beauty.

But today, I have been out-geeked. Today, it turns out, is Square Root Day. That's because it's 3/3/09, and 3 x 3 = 9, meaning 3-squared equals 9. I had never considered that this relationship between month, day, and year occurs so rarely. In fact, this "square root" coincidence in dates only happens nine times every century - the last one being 2/2/04.

How should you celebrate Square Root Day? According to CNET, a teacher in Redwood City, California, has organized a contest. Apparently, people will cut root vegetables into squares or make foods into the square root symbol shape.

In addition, perhaps you can listen to the song by Huey Lewis and the News, "Hip to be Square."

For more on Square Root Day and other math holidays, check out the Cybrary Man Web site.

And, stay tuned for my Pi Day tips next weekend.

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Filed under: Mathematics


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