Forget Pi Day: This Student Knows the Dow Jones Industrial Average to Thirty-Five Decimal Points
March 14, 2017 at 3:23 pm
Even with classes canceled due to an apocalyptic winter storm, the most dedicated students on campus are still ready to celebrate Pi Day with all of the energy of an overzealous eleventh grader. You may remember Pi Day from high school, when all your math teachers wore ugly shirts plastered with pi references or jokes on March 14th (because it's 3.14, get it?). You might not see too many professors doing that at Penn, but you'll still catch an engineering student wearing an uncomfortably teal, pi-centric shirt on any given March 14th.
This year, one Wharton sophomore decided to break from the pack, up the ante, and take pi day to the next level.
As Sheldon McDonald (W ’19) watched his fellow classmates try memorize the irrational number in vain, he resolved to apply his mental energy to a more practical cause. While looking at the Wall Street Journal homepage in an effort to feel like a knowledgeable, informed citizen, Sheldon realized that only one number really mattered in the grand scheme of things.
“Why memorize a hundred digits of pi or study for my finance midterm when the only thing that recruiters really care about is whether or not I know where the Dow closed yesterday,” said Sheldon as he recounted his thought process to us.
He set out to learn the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the 300th digit, but sort of got lazy at around digit 35 and realized that he could probably just start saying random numbers and no one would call him out for it. Awesome!