Math enthusiasts around the world, from college kids to rocket scientists, celebrate Pi Day on Thursday, which is March 14 or 3/14 — the first three digits of an infinite number with many practical uses.

Around the world many people will mark the day with a slice of pie — sweet, savory or even pizza.

Simply put, Pi is a mathematical constant that expresses the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is part of many formulas used in physics, astronomy, engineering and other fields, dating back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, Babylon and China.

Pi Day itself dates to 1988, when physicist Larry Shaw began celebrations at the Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco. The holiday didn’t really gain national recognition though until two decades later. In 2009, Congress designated every March 14 to be the big day — to hopefully spur more interest in math and science. Fittingly enough, the day is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

Here’s a little more about the holiday’s origin and how it’s celebrated today.

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