## Archive for March 11, 2012

### What Dates are Mathier than Pi Day?

While I am grateful that Pi Day gives some much-needed publicity to math, it’s a contrivance like textbook problems about two trains approaching from opposite directions. (Honestly, rather than spend your time determining how long until two trains on the same track collide, why not use that time to inform someone about the imminent collision?) Other than containing the same digits that appear in 3.14, there’s nothing terribly special about 3/14. And it propagates the widely held belief that π is only known to two decimal places.

That said, the cultural significance of Pi Day cannot be overstated. (Or maybe it just was?) Consequently, there are **six cool Pi Day cards at Illuminations** for you to share with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, or download them and include them in an email, on your website, or in a blog post. This one is my favorite:

Recently, there has been a movement to replace π with τ = 2π. (See The Tau Manifesto.) That would suit me just fine, and then we could celebrate Tau Day, which occurs on the more mathematical date 6/28. In addition to 6.28 representing the value of 2π (to two decimal places, anyway), it is also the case that both 6 and 28 are perfect numbers (the sum of their proper factors is equal to the number itself), and this year the value of the month, date and year of 6/28/12 are all even.

Please understand, my disdain for 3/14/12 is not personal. It’s just that other dates this year are, well, *mathier*.

Christmas Eve is one of those mathier dates…

- When written as 12/24/12, all of
*mm*,*dd*and*yy*are even. *mm*+*yy*=*dd*- Each of the digits within the date (1, 2, and 4) are powers of 2.
- The sum of the digits is 1 + 2 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 2 = 12, and 122412 ÷ 12 = 10,201 = 101
^{2}.

…as is the ninth of June…

- The numbers 6, 9, 12 form an arithmetic sequence.
- All three numbers are multiples of 3.
- The month (6) is a perfect number, the date (9) is a square number, and the year (12) is the smallest abundant number.

What do you think is the mathiest date of 2012? And what criteria do you use to determine if a date is mathy?