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Scopus celebrates Pi Day

on Fri, 03/14/2014 - 00:33

Happy Pi day! 3.14159 (or the number otherwise known as Pi or π) is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. This irrational number has long intrigued mathematicians and has even found a place in pop culture with its own holiday. Even our friends at ElsevierConnect have written about it today.

Pi appears throughout history. From Antiquity (there’s debate about if the Giza Pyramid builders had knowledge of Pi), to ancient Greek, Chinese, Indian and Persian mathematicians (including Archimedes, Liu Hui, Aryabhata and Jamshīd al-Kāshī), to 17th and 18th century European mathematicians and into the modern computer age.

So let’s talk about Scopus’ math content. An Advanced search for SUBJAREA(MATH) yields more than 2.1M results. 2.114221 to be precise (search executed 3/14/2014). Refining the initial search using the limiter “pi” narrows the results to 40,402 documents.

By clicking on “Analyze results” you can see more detail about these 40,402 records including popular source titles, prolific authors, leading institutions, and the country of origin, document type and specific subject area of the results. Interestingly, 82.3% of the content is derived from journal articles with 15.1% originating in conference papers; for the overall mathematics content indexed by Scopus, these totals are 72.5% and 21.7%, respectively.

Stay tuned for 2015 when things might get really crazy – in US date format, at 9:26:53AM you'll be able to write the date 3/13/15, 9:26:53 (the first 10 digits of Pi). And if you want to hone your “piem” skills before then, check out what Wikipedia has to say about Piphilology, “the creation and use of mnemonic techniques to remember a span of digits of the mathematical constant π. The word is a play on the word "pi" itself and of the linguistic field of philology.”

Did you know? In September 2012, Elsevier opened access to all available archived articles, back to Volume 1, Issue 1 (or first issue available) for each of the primary mathematics journals from 4 years after publication to the 1st issue, which means back to early 1960s for several titles. Learn more on

Looking to celebrate Pi day? If you live near Princeton, New Jersey in the US you can celebrate Pi day as well as Einstein’s birth day! Check out what they have planned and follow them on Twitter. Or if you’re on the US’s west coast, take yourself to San Francisco’s interactive science museum Exploratorium to celebrate.

Full disclosure: For Halloween one year, a friend and I dressed as “Pumpkin Pi”. I donned an orange dress and he threw on a pair of geeky glasses with a 3.14 sticker – simple and cheeky and we received quite a few laughs. Check out these other “scientific” costumes.