Using the American dating system, today, March 14, i.e. 3/14, is Pi Day. It also happens to be Einstein’s birthday and Talk Like a Physicists Day (thanks to my colleague Dave Dixon for illuminating me). Talking like a physicist is something difficult for me personally NOT to do, but for those non-physicists amongst you, bust out your best “I love the sound of my own voice technobable” and rock someone’s world! Some students at Cal Poly, where I work, changed the giant “P” on the hill overlooking the university (which presumably represents “Poly”) into a “Pi.” Good work! Update: by 1:45pm on 3/14, the “Pi” had been prematurely removed from the hill. Tragic.
An annoying trend has developed amongst the less technical denizens at school to morph the name “California Polytechnic State University” into just “Poly.” Cal Poly used to be a real nerds-nerd university, and the abridged name “Cal Poly” is practical — indeed, we can’t very well call ourselves “Cal Tech” (ahem, already taken). But then again, there are already two Cal Poly’s (its complicated). But calling ourselves just “Poly” sounds like a parrot show at a monster truck rally during Greek Rush week.
The Pi on the hill warms my heart, reminding me that there are those amongst us still trying to put the “tech” back into “Polytechnic.”