In what may be regarded as an astounding coincidence, famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died on Pi Day, March 14, the day each year when scientists and mathematicians celebrate the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.
March 14 also marks the birthday of Albert Einstein, who would have turned 139 this year.
Almost immediately after news broke Wednesday morning about Hawking's death, people on social media were making the connection to Pi Day and Einstein. Some speculated that Hawking may have planned the coincidence.
Either way, Pi Day is now synonymous with the leading theoretical physicists in all of history.
Others noted that Hawking's birthday, Jan. 8, is the same day that famed scientist Galileo died at age 77 in 1642.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Pi Day, which was created in 1988 at a celebration that physicist Larry Shaw organized.
Shaw said he chose March 14 because 3.14 are the first three digits of pi, denoted by the Greek letter “π.”
In 2009, Congress officially recognized Pi Day, inspiring the pun “pie” celebrations, with people even dressing up as Einstein, Time reported.
This year, NASA held a “Pi in the Sky” challenge to solve interplanetary math problems, while San Francisco’s Exploratorium, where Shaw hosted the first Pi Day celebration, has an annual day of pi-inspired activities, the report said.