At MIT, celebrating “Pi Day” goes beyond eating baked goods in a nod to the mathematical constant.
In fact, for incoming freshman, it’s a right of passage.
Every year on March 14 — or 3.14, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — the Cambridge institute ships admission decisions to its newest class.
To supplement the occasion, the school creates YouTube videos with a hint of humor. Last year, it was a clip of students getting smashed in the face by actual pie. A series of foodcentric activities followed, including pie-tasting, baking, and a competition in which contestants recited as many digits of pi as their memories allowed.
But this year is different.
Because Pi Day falls on 3/14/15, it matches up with the first four numbers that follow the decimal point — 3.1415 — marking a once-in-a-lifetime coincidence.
That’s why for the class of 2019, MIT officials went above and beyond.
In a two-minute video released Friday, the school used special effects to create a swarm of drones soaring from the Great Dome, taking flight to deliver decisions to MIT hopefuls around the globe.
Set to the anthem “Flight of the Valkyries,” digitally rendered drones buzz around, dropping tubes containing the letters to the ground.
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School officials said student acceptance notifications will be released on Saturday, March 14, at 9:26 a.m. Applicants can learn whether they’ve been accepted on the school’s admissions website.
“We know you’re excited, and that waiting is tough — hang in there! It won’t be much longer,” the school said on its website.
Administrators said they understand that the application process can be stressful, but they encouraged students to make light of the affair, much like they did in their video.
“Acknowledge it, embrace it, and then let it go. This is your last semester of high school, and your primary responsibility is to enjoy every remaining minute of this journey before you embark on the next,” the school wrote.
Hopefully, for applicants, that adventure involves a four-year trip to MIT.
Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.