SUNY Poly Launches New “Pi Patrol” in Celebration of Pi Day

SUNY Poly Launches New “Pi Patrol” in Celebration of Pi Day

Monday, March 14, 2016 - 09:00
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For Release:         Immediate – March 14, 2016

Contact:                Jerry Gretzinger, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Public Relations ­

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SUNY Poly Launches New “Pi Patrol” in Celebration of Pi Day

Fleet of Pi Patrol vehicles brings Pi themed math and science program (and Pizza ‘Pi’) directly to elementary school students in Utica


Utica – In celebration of Pi Day, the unofficial holiday of SUNY Polytechnic Institute (known one day a year as SUNY ‘PI’), a fleet of vehicles dubbed the Pi Patrol today will visit elementary school students throughout the Utica area to present a special Pi-themed math and science mobile education program.   SUNY PI educators and outreach staff will immerse students in engaging hands-on lessons and activities, before treating participants to a “Pizza-pi” party.

“Pi Day provides an excellent opportunity for us to get young students excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) which are driving New York State’s 21st century economy,” said SUNY PI President and CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros. “Through the Pi Patrol and its fun and interactive demonstrations, we hope to support the lessons being taught in area schools and inspire a new generation of innovators.”

For its inaugural year, the Pi Patrol will visit Watson Williams Elementary School at 3:15 p.m. and Conkling Elementary School at 3:20 p.m. and work with 4-6th graders during each school’s respective after-school programs. Students will learn that the mathematical constant Pi, commonly approximated as 3.14159, is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is often represented by the Greek symbol π.  The program highlights the importance of and uses for Pi and includes several hands on experiments and demonstrations.

“The magic number pi will be represented by edibles of various size, allowing us to demonstrate and calculate the mathematical relationships between surface area, circumference, and radius,” said SUNY Poly K-12 Outreach Director Elizabeth Rossi. “And of course, once we’ve worked out our calculations we’ll eat those delicious edibles – pizza and cookies.”

At the conclusion of the educational component of the program, students will enjoy free pizza, including a pie with pepperoni strategically placed in the shape of the Greek symbol, “π.”

Pi Day is celebrated around the world on March 14 because the date reflects the ratio: 3/14 or 3.14.  It is also the birthdate of Albert Einstein, who was born March 14, 1879.

The Pi Patrol is made up of volunteers from SUNY Poly Professor Robert Payne’s Professionalism in the workplace class, along with members of the Civil Engineering Club and the Office of Continuing Professional Development.




SUNY Polytechnic Institute. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $43 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 4,000 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff, in addition to Tech Valley High School. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in Troy, the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua, and the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester where SUNY Poly also leads the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at its Utica location and also manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit