Pi Day 2023

Date: Tuesday, March 14

Location: Creveling Lounge, CC 201

Registration and Submissions: 

In order to participate in any Pi Day events registration is required.

Registration (Students & Community)

Registration (Faculty)

This is a "For Students, By Students" event. The goal is to promote the ownership of your math learning, to encourage you to talk about mathematics, to share your joy of learning mathematics, to develop better attitudes and mindsets needed to learn mathematics, to discover ways of overcoming difficulties or anxiety in learning mathematics, to connect mathematics with real-life applications, and to celebrate and share your victories in understanding mathematical concepts.

Deadline to submit your poster presentation: Friday, March 3

(If you need Pi Club to print your poster, you must submit it online by March 3. Otherwise, you may deliver your poster to PCC Math Division, R322, by Wednesday, March 8)

We would like to invite you to make posters to showcase your learning and present it at the Pi Day Conference!

Call for Poster Presentations

Poster-making Workshop: February 24th, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: The Planetarium (P100)

This workshop is available to any PCC student.

Presented by Dr. Maria Okounkova, Professor, Natural Science - Pasadena City College.

Co-Sponsored by Astronomy Club and Pi Club.

Pi Day 2023 Events:

10:00 AM - 11:45 AM: Visit in-person in CC 201

  • Student Poster Presentations
  • Pi Digit Memorization Contest
  • Internship and Career Opportunities: Representatives from Caltech, JPL, PCC Freeman Center for Career and Completion, and more, will explain various opportunities and answer questions.
  • Flyer for JPL Opportunities: a flyer with an overview of the different internship programs

Participants who fill the Pi Day 2023 Experience Survey will receive raffle tickets for pizzas and prize drawing.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Keynote Speaker, David Keyes - "What's Math Got to Do with It?"

Watch live in-person in CC 201 or live at this Zoom link: https://pasadena-edu.zoom.us/j/84858638971?pwd=WitoMHdYZmM1RHBNdkNQL2xUVmFxUT09

  • Carrie Starbird, Dean of Mathematics Division (Moderator) - PCC
  • David Keyes, Professor, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering - KAUST
David Keyes

David Keyes is a professor of applied mathematics, computer science, and mechanical engineering at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where he directs the Extreme Computing Research Center. He was a founding Dean at KAUST in 2009 and currently serves in the office of President Tony Chan with responsibilities for strategic planning and global branding.  He is an Adjunct Professor of Applied Mathematics at Columbia and an affiliate of several US Department of Energy laboratories. He earned a BSE in aerospace and mechanical sciences from Princeton in 1978 and a PhD in applied mathematics from Harvard in 1984. He works at the interface between parallel computing and the numerical analysis of PDEs, with a focus on scalable implicit solvers and exploiting data sparsity. He helped develop and popularize the Newton-Krylov-Schwarz (NKS) and Additive Schwarz Preconditioned Inexact Newton (ASPIN) methods. He has been awarded the ACM Gordon Bell Prize and the IEEE Sidney Fernbach Prize and is a fellow of the SIAM, AMS, and AAAS.

What’s Math Got to Do with It?

Have you read any good equations lately? In the course of debunking various “math myths”, we’ll learn to parse an equation like a sentence and attempt to outline in broad strokes the range of mathematics and the roles of mathematics and computation in the panoply of the sciences and engineering. We’ll also consider the “right-brain/left-brain” dichotomy in mathematical and artistic pursuits, ending with a recitation of Anthematica, an anthem to the power of quantitative reasoning.

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM: Academic and Internship Panel

Watch live in-person in CC 201 or watch the YouTube Live Stream

  • Jared Ashcroft, Professor, Chemistry (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Yu-Chung Chang-Hou, Professor, Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Maitlyn Pezzo, Student - Pasadena City College

Maitlyn Pezzo is a sophomore at PCC taking classes to prepare her for transfer to a UC. Maitlyn grew up in the arts world and spent the greater part of her youth as an actor. When the pandemic began and the industry took a hit, Maitlyn decided to enroll in a few general classes at PCC. After learning about genetics, she fell completely in love and realized this is what she should’ve been doing all along. She is now a full time student pursuing a degree in Molecular Biology. Maitlyn is working on two research internships this semester and has recently traveled to Chicago where she and one other student had the opportunity to present some of their research.


  • Holly B. Kim, Student - Cal State LA

Holly Kim received her Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at UC Davis in 2016. While working in the industry she never lost interest in mathematics and teaching. In 2020 she took the leap to pursue mathematics. She's now in the process of completing her master’s program at Cal State LA for mathematics in hopes of becoming an instructor, either for high school or community college, that will support and encourage the next generations of students and help plant the seed of a love for math.


  • Mercedes Quintana, Student, Mathematics - PCC

Mercedes Quintana is a student at Pasadena City College working towards her associates degree in mathematics. She began her journey in music, earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in viola performance respectively from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and DePaul University in Chicago, IL. After suffering from a repetitive use injury, she decided to transition to STEM, starting by taking classes at PCC. During her time here, she grew to love computer science. On weekdays, you might find her working in the Tutoring Center. In 2021, she earned a spot as an intern at the Southern California Earthquake Center where she continues to work at the intersection of machine learning, data science, and seismology.


  • Duncan Chadly, Graduate Student, Bioengineering - Caltech

Duncan Chadly is a bioengineering graduate student from Caltech. He began his journey in research as an undergraduate at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he contributed to projects studying bacterial chemotaxis and building hydrogel biosensors. During his tenure there he earned the Genentech Outstanding Student award and completed an internship on their campus in San Francisco, CA. He graduated with degrees in Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Engineering Physics in 2015, then worked as a Research Technician at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL for 2 years developing microfluidic devices to study stem cell differentiation. In 2017, he matriculated to Caltech where he works toward his PhD under the supervision of Michael Elowitz, creating new techniques to record information into DNA sequences.


2:00 PM - 2:45 PM: Python in Science Workshop

Watch live in-person in CC 201 or live at this Zoom link: https://pasadena-edu.zoom.us/j/84858638971?pwd=WitoMHdYZmM1RHBNdkNQL2xUVmFxUT09

  • Anthony Ko, Student & Pi Club President, Computer Science (Moderator) - PCC
  • Dr. Maria Okounkova, Professor, Natural Science - Pasadena City College

Dr. Okounkova is a tenure-track physics and astronomy faculty member at PCC. She received her BA in Physics magna cum laude from Princeton University in 2014, with a minor in applications of computing, and her PhD in physics from Caltech in 2019, researching black holes and gravitational waves with Prof. Saul Teukolsky. Until she joined PCC, she was a Research Fellow at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute in New York City. Her research interests involve black holes, general relativity, gravitational waves, and computational astrophysics, and she has over a dozen lead-author publications in her field. Dr. Okounkova is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, and seeks to make this a focal point of her teaching and mentorship at PCC.

Workshop description:

Computing is a vital component of all modern STEM research, and in this workshop, we’ll begin to explore the intersection of science and computing. We’ll program various simulations in Python together using Google Collaboratory, spanning various fields of physics and astrophysics. All you need is a laptop or tablet with a web browser.


3:00 PM - 3:50 PM: Career & Internships Panel

Watch live in-person in CC 201 or watch the YouTube Live Stream

  • Veronica I. Jaramillo, Dean of Natural Science Division (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Thomas Y. Hou, Charles Lee Powell Professor, Applied and Computational Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - Caltech
  • Dr. John Callas, Physicist - Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Professor, Mathematics - PCC 

Dr. Callas is a physicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.  He grew up near Boston.  He received his Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Tufts University, and his Masters and Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University.   He was project manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project, operating the rovers Spirit and Opportunity on the surface of Mars through more than a decade of extended mission operations. Then he led the joint NASA-NSF Exoplanet Observational Research program to detect and characterize exoplanets around other stars.  Currently, he is the manager of NASA's Fundamental Physics Program, tasked to perform ultra-precision space-based measurements of the basic laws of physics.  In addition to his JPL work, Dr. Callas teaches mathematics at Pasadena City College as an adjunct assistant professor.


  • Director Jeff Weiss, Sr. Director for Solution Architecture & Engineering - NVIDIA

Jeff Weiss is a Sr. Director working on the Solution Architecture & Engineering team at NVIDIA. His focus is on MLOps for NVIDIA AI solutions. Prior to joining NVIDIA, Jeff has a pedigree that included a 7 year stint at VMware as a EUC Staff Engineer, as well as time at Symantec and Sun Microsystems. Along with his current focus on AI GPU and vGPU enabled computing, his experience includes datacenter business continuity/disaster recovery solutions, software infrastructure identity management and email security/archiving tools. During his tenure, he has architected and sold complex business solutions into a wide array of both public and private accounts, from commercial to government, healthcare to education. Prior to working in sales, he spent time as a networking and datacenter manager in the aerospace industry. Jeff is based in Los Angeles, CA.


  • Dr. B. Lan Dang, Operations Engineer - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Dang is an Operations Engineer with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, specializing in science data systems operations and large scale data processing. She spends most of her time on the command line of various remote Linux systems.  In her spare time, she is active in the San Gabriel Valley tech community as a leader of the SGVLUG and its sister group, the SGVHAK hardware hacking group, and volunteers with various STEAM groups and events. 


  • Dr. Tom Markland, Professor, Chemistry - Stanford University
Thomas Markland

Dr. Markland received his MChem in Chemistry from Balliol College, University of Oxford where he was a Brackenbury Scholar and did his thesis work in the area of non-adiabatic dynamics. He continued at Oxford for his DPhil research in the area of quantum dynamics under the supervision of David Manolopoulos. In 2009 he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry's Coulson Prize. After postdoctoral work with Bruce Berne at Columbia University he moved to Stanford in 2011 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry. In 2018 he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Since starting at Stanford he has been awarded a Research Corporation Cottrell Scholarship, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Terman Fellowship, Hellman Faculty Scholarship, the ACS OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, the NSF CAREER award, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award, the H&S Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lectureship, and the ACS Early Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry.

His research interests lie broadly in the development of theoretical and simulation approaches and their application to explain effects observed in the classical and quantum dynamics of chemical systems.

4:00 PM - 4:50 PM: Keynote Speaker, How to Land a Job in Data Science

Watch live in-person in CC 201 or watch the YouTube Live Stream

  • Silvia Heubach, Professor, Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - Cal State LA
  • Eddie Tchertchian, Department Chair of Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - Pierce College
  • Dr. Jie Zhong, Professor, Mathematics - Cal State LA

Dr. Zhong received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from University of Southern California in 2013. After graduation, he spent one year as a postdoc fellow under the CREST (JST) program at Ritsumeikan University in Japan. Then he came back to US and joined University of Central Florida for a visiting assistant professor position. During the fall semester of 2015, Dr. Zhong was a postdoc fellow in the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley. Prior to joining Cal State LA, he was a visiting assistant professor at University of Rochester for two years. Dr. Zhong's research lies in the theory of probability and its applications. Recently, he focuses on the design of new machine learning and data science  algorithms and is supervising a large group of undergraduate/graduate students conducting various research. As a continuation collaboration since the PIC math program funded by MAA,  last semester, Dr. Zhong's group partnered with the City of Los Angeles’ Data Team, and developed an interactive data visualization tool that helps residents understand crime trends in neighborhoods, as well as delivering valuable scientific analysis to better serve our local communities. 

How to land a job in Data Science

Data science is no doubt one of the most in-demand professions in the world, which allows organizations to extract insights and make informed decisions from large amounts of information. This is also a multidisciplinary approach that combines principles and practices from the fields of mathematics, statistics, artificial intelligence, and computer engineering, to name a few. In this talk, we will discuss the general ideas of how to land a job in such a fascinating career, including but not limited to relevant tools and technologies needed, portfolio showcase, branding, networking, etc. 

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM: Night Light Spectrum

Watch live in-person in CC 201 or watch the YouTube Live Stream

  • Silvia C. Talaoc, Math MESA Faculty Coordinator (Moderator) - PCC
  • Prof. Cuong (Mark) Luu, MESA Program - Pasadena City College

Mr. Luu holds dual bachelor's degrees in Archaeology and Environmental Geology from UC Berkeley and a credential in Physics at Cal State LA, with Spanish authorization. He began teaching as a permanent substitute at Sierra Vista High School before teaching physics at Duarte and Marshall, and is now teaching AP classes at Crescenta Valley High School. He served at PCC EOP&S (Extended Opportunities Programs and Services) as a tutor lead, and now teaches an Environmental Science course for Non-credit Division. He has also taught a Robotics workshop series for Upward Bound Math-Science program, and co-taught an intro engineering course for Johns Hopkins University this summer at PCC. He will be continually involved in various STEM education programs at PCC where there is an opportunity to do so.

Night Light Pollution

Light pollution is caused by an overwhelming amount of artificial light in a certain area. Some sources of light pollution may include, street lights, commercial buildings, and cars. In most cities, light pollution has gotten worse since the 1970s. This type of pollution is resolvable in one of two ways: large-scale expensive infrastructure changes at the street lighting level, or low-cost micro-infrastructural level by educating households about appropriate lighting and conservation. The latter solution is cheaper and faster to implement, but requires buy-in from every stakeholder. Many programs, including apps, collaborate to interactively raise awareness and educate the public about the impact of light pollution on not only the night sky but migratory patterns. This presentation sheds some light (no pun intended) on the type of education these solutions involve.


Resources for Your Pi Day Poster/Presentation

Examples of Pi Day Posters:


Pi Day 2023 Volunteer Registration

Become a Pi Day Volunteer

Certificate and Raffle Ticket

Every poster-participating student and instructor will receive a certificate and one raffle ticket for prizes.

Chance to Win a Gift Card

Every instructor and student who submits their Pi Day survey online will have a chance to win a gift card. Deadline: TBA

T-Shirt Design Contest!

Participate in the T-Shirt Design Contest to win a gift certificate up to $100!

  • Theme for Pi Day T-Shirt 2023:  "I can do it!" (3 colors maximum)
  • T-Shirt Design Submission Deadline: February 27, 2023

Submit Your T-Shirt Desgin

Every poster-participating student and instructor will receive a certificate in the award ceremony, receive one raffle ticket, and will be entered for a chance to win a gift certificate up to $100.

Pi Day Survey

Archived Pi Days

Pi Day 2022 Internship & Academic Panel

CS Cheatsheet - PCC Mobile APP

Monday, 3/14, 12 - 1 PM  Hybrid Location: G1 or ZOOM.

This event may be attended on the PCC campus at G1 or remotely via ZOOM. Those who register for the event will be emailed a link to the ZOOM session.

  • Jamal Ashraf, Professor, Computer Science; Advisor, She Codes (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Jie Zhong, Professor, Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - Cal State LA
  • Sebastian Cevallos, Student - PCC
  • Spencer Ortega, Alumnus - PCC
  • Trinity Chung, Student - PCC
  • Venus Le Thanh Ha Nguyen, Student - PCC

Pi Day 2022 Research & Internship Opportunities Panel

Monday, 3/14, 1 - 2 PM  Hybrid Location: G1 or ZOOM

This event may be attended on the PCC campus at G1 or remotely via ZOOM. Those who register for the event will be emailed a link to the ZOOM session.

  • Jorge Encinas, Professor, Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Jie Zhong, Professor, Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - Cal State LA
  • Eric Ocegueda, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering - Caltech
  • Victor Garcia Ruiz, Graduate Student, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics - Caltech
  • Victor Zendejas Lopez, Graduate Student, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics - Caltech

Pi Day 2022 Blockchain & Proof of Work - Technology of Bitcoin and NFTs Hands-on Workshop

Tuesday, 3/15, 12 - 1 PM  Hybrid Location: G1 or ZOOM

This event may be attended on the PCC campus at G1 or remotely via ZOOM. Those who register for the event will be emailed a link to the ZOOM session.

  • Shivam Tripathi, Post-doctoral Fellow, Materials Engineering (Moderator) - Purdue University
  • Alejandro Strachan, Professor, Mechanical Engineering - Purdue University
  • Oneal Douglin, Student - PCC
  • Suchan Liu, Student - PCC
  • Yu-Chung Chang-Hou, Professor, Mathematics - PCC

Pi Day 2022 Career and Internships Panel

Wednesday, 3/16, 12 - 1 PM  Campus Location: IT224 (MESA Center)

  • Silvia Talaoc, Professor, Mathematics; Faculty Lead, Success Centers; Faculty Coordinator, MESA (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Jie Zhong, Professor, Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - Cal State LA
  • Michael Zhang, PhD., Professor, Astronomy - Caltech
  • Edgar Perez-Lopez, PhD. Student, Mechanical Engineering - UC Merced
  • LiChen Janet Hsu, PA-C - El Sereno Medical Group
  • Nhi Trinh, ICU Nurse - LAUSC Medical Center
  • Thanh Le, Substation Engineer, Electrical Engineering - Edison

Pi Day 2022 Advanced Materials Engineering

Undergraduate Research & Internships Panel

Wednesday, 3/16, 1 - 2 PM  Location: ZOOM

Those who register for this event will be emailed a link to the ZOOM session.

  • Carrie Starbird, Dean of Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Peter Castro, Professor, Chemistry (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Vincenzo Costanza, Graduate Student - Caltech
  • Janet Teng, Student - PCC

Pi Day 2022 New Societies and Cryptocurrencies

Wednesday, 3/16, 6 - 7:30 PM  Hybrid Location: G1 and ZOOM

This event may be attended on the PCC campus at G1 or remotely via ZOOM. Those who register for the event will be emailed a link to the ZOOM session.

  • Michael Zhang, PhD., Postdoc; President, Caltech Sovereignty Club (Moderator) - Caltech
  • Tom W. Bell, Professor, Fowler School of Law - Chapman University

Pi Day 2022 Asteroids and Comets Research

Thursday, 3/17, 12 - 1 PM  Hybrid Location: G1 and ZOOM

This event may be attended on the PCC campus at G1 or remotely via ZOOM. Those who register for the event will be emailed a link to the ZOOM session.

  • Jude Socrates, Professor, Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Daphne Liu, Professor, Mathematics (Co-Moderator) - Cal State LA
  • Joe Masiero, IPAC Research Scientist - Caltech

Pi Day 2022 Student Presentations

Friday, 3/18, 11 AM - 1 PM  Location: ZOOM

Those who register for this event will be emailed a link to the ZOOM session.

  • Samy, President, Pi Club (Co-Moderator) - PCC
  • Kevin, President, Math Club (Co-Moderator) - Cal State LA
  • Daphne Liu, Professor, Mathematics - Cal State LA

Presentation List (TBA)

Pi Day 2022 Undergraduate Research & Internships Panel

Friday, 3/18, 1 - 2 PM  Campus Location: E102 and E103

  • Jared Ashcroft, Professor, Chemistry (Moderator) - PCC
  • Frank Alas, Student - PCC
  • Rachael Gilyard, Student - GCC
  • Hiranmie Padinjatiyaduth, Student - PCC
  • Venus Le Thanh Ha Nguyen, Student - PCC

Pi Day 2022 Python Coding Workshop

PCC SheCodes Club & PCC Pi Club

Saturday, 3/19, 1 - 3 PM  Location: ZOOM

Those who register for this event will be emailed a link to the ZOOM session.

(Panel TBA)

Pi Day 2022 Student Presentations

Click here to watch a short video for this year's Pi Day Conference (Coming Soon!)

Music from video provided free by: https://www.bensound.com