Pi Day 2018: More Than a Circle Equation

Never again will the mathematical constant 3.14 be associated with long faces in a middle school classroom. Timmy the Talking Tree, the Pi Launcher, and Capture the Pi now deserve a chapter in math textbooks everywhere. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Geeks from all corners of the US celebrate Pi Day, March 14, for its numerical significance in geometric equations. Although not (yet) a government holiday, ReadyTalk and the national nerd community have used this date to build think-outside-the-sandbox projects honoring the universal language of math. Appropriately chosen, the Raspberry Pi computer is the development board used by ReadyTalk engineers on March 14. This year, 26 teams square off in a demo competition showcasing a range of real-world applications.

Raspberry Pi Hack

ReadyTalk invites all of its engineers to participate in a two-day long hackathon with the highly flexible $35 Raspberry Pi computer. The only catch is that all teams that join the hackathon have to give a company-wide presentation about their idea on 3.14. Nothing needs to be work related, and everyone is encouraged to make the most of the rudimentary Pi technology. That includes hardware adjustments like soldering, rewiring, and adding light fixtures to name a few. Since it’s a no holds barred, come-to-the-table-with-a-crazy-idea kind of event, those of us in the audience get a first-class Vegas show. Or at times, more like Reno.   

Nathan Thompson’s Capture the Pi idea won “Most Creative” for his use of a conductive thread and a unique voltage pulse signaling the transfer of a digital “flag.” The “Best in Show” award goes to team Pi Launcher. Their idea to make a plastic top launcher and turn the office into a makeshift frisbee golf course won with widespread support.

Timmy the Talking Tree (above) incorporated Google Home with the Raspberry Pi. Without much surprise this project was awarded “Best Looking” — he’s a handsome little sap.

 

Congrats to Adam Shamblin and Andrew Suderman for winning the “Best Coded” award. Check out their project presentation, Mesh Networks and Kubernetes.

Thanks to all of our awesome engineers for stepping up their Pi game this year! This is the fifth annual ReadyTalk Pi Day event and we’re always AMAZED at our team’s range of high-tech skills!

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