March 14 is International Day of Mathematics – UNESCO declared it so at its 40^{th} General Conference in 2019 – and also Pi Day (that’s the constant pi, not pie) in the US (where March 14 is written in month/day format – 3.14).

International Day of Mathematics observance is led by the International Mathematical Union, whose theme in 2021 is Mathematics for a Better World.

There’s also a Pi Approximation Day, observed on 22 July (22/7 in day/month format), since the fraction ** ^{22}⁄_{7}** is a common approximation of pi, accurate to two decimal places. And let’s not forget Two Pi Day, also known as Tau Day for the mathematical constant, observed on June 28 (6/28 in month/day format).

At the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus), we’re celebrating the day by launching the **Cosmos Pi-ku 2021 competition**. Pay attention now.

To enter, you need to write a Pi-ku: that’s kind of like a haiku, only with more syllables.

A haiku in English is generally accepted to be a poem of three lines and 17 syllables arranged in a 5–7–5 pattern.

A Pi-ku (for our purposes) is a poem of six lines and 23 syllables arranged in a 3–1–4–1–5–9 pattern (Pi to five decimal places: 3.14159).

To get you started, we asked RiAus staff members to whip up a Pi-ku:

Learning STEM

Is

necessary.

Do

remember science,

technology, engineering, maths.– Jennifer Chalmers

Education Manager

Riddle me

this:

eternity

creeps

unbidden, alert,

its long shadow cast as if metal.*– Ian ConnellanDigital Editor, *cosmosmagazine.com

To stay safe, Keep an area of Pi times one point five metres squared around yourself always. –Lauren Fuge Science Journalist

Summer days

gone.

As the darkness

lands,

I turn my mind to

books, friends, laughter – and the breeze to come.*– Gail MacCallumEditor, *Cosmos

Researchers

Found

correlation

but

further studies need

to be done before they know for sure.– Ellen Phiddian

Science Journalist

This weekend

I

will ride a bike

or

perhaps play guitar.

That’s not something I would joke about.*– Chuck SmeetonChief Operating Officer*

Ice cream treats are simply the best way to keep Kelly sweet. Or else you may see the worst of me.– Kelly Wong Social Media Manager

See? Not too hard…

To enter, write one of more Pi-kus and email them, including your name and a contact telephone number here.

Entries open today, International Day of Mathematics, close on Two Pi Day – we’ll announce the judging panel that day – and winners will be announced on Pi Approximation Day.

Entries will be judged for style, originality and alignment with science and Pi.

The top three entries will win a Cosmos digital subscription.

Get writing!