Pumpkin Pi Proves Integral To Bowdoin Math Department

Story posted October 31, 2011

Last Halloween, Amanda Gartside ’12 botched up infinity. This year, the math major is shooting for something a bit more manageable, like pi. Pumpkin pi, that is.

Gartside is one of the student organizers of the Math Department’s annual pumpkin carving event. The informal get-together of students, professors and their families has become a tradition in the math department, with students attempting to outdo each other with Bowdoin and math-themed jack o’ lanterns.

“It’s as creative as the students are,” says Jennifer Taback, associate professor of mathematics. “One year somebody tried to carve one of the professor’s faces. I don’t think it came out too well ...”

Gartside says she looks forward to the event all year. “This was one of the things that attracted me to the math department in the first place, when I was a freshman,” she says. “I saw the department had a sense of togetherness.”

The pumpkins will be on display on the steps of Searles Hall, the math department’s home. Currently more than 100 students are majoring and minoring in mathematics at Bowdoin.

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