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February 28, 2017

The UNC Department of Computer Science will celebrate Pi Day this year by hosting a “Pi Your Professor” fundraiser to support CS student clubs and initiatives.

Comp Sci students can buy a ticket for $10 to lob a “pi” at a professor. If they’re willing to have a pie thrown back at them, they get an extra ticket. Faculty who make a donation of $100 can throw an unlimited number of pies back at their students.

Pi Your Professor will take place at 12 noon on March 8, outside of the Fred Brooks Building. For safety reasons, the “pies” will be whipped cream on a paper plate.

“Unfortunately, this year’s Pi Day (March 14) is during Spring Break,” said external relations manager, Gina Rozier. “We’re going to celebrate a little early and send students and faculty off with a lot of fun. And for those who prefer to eat their pie rather than wear it, we’ll have apple, blueberry, cherry and pecan pie available to purchase by the slice.”

More than one-third of the department’s professors agreed to be pi’ed, including Kevin Jeffay, Gillian Cell Distinguished Professor and department chair, who was the first to sign up. Students who want to pi the chair can purchase a special ticket for $15.

The fundraiser is the brainchild of the department’s alumni relations coordinator, Alden Sharpe. The goal, Sharpe said, is to build on the strong relationships faculty and students already share, and to encourage students to give back so the department can continue to fund student programs in the future.

The Dept. of Computer Science supports 17 graduate and undergraduate student clubs and initiatives, including the Computer Science Student Association, WiCS (Women in Computer Science), BLiCS (the black and latinx CS club), e-sports and Girls Who Code chapters, an Entrepreneur’s club and others. The department provides a small stipend for club expenses throughout the year and underwrites the cost of major events like HackNC and Pearl Hacks through Corporate Partner donations and alumni gifts.

“Clubs and events are one of the ways we keep students connected,” said Jeffay. “Computer Science is a challenging major, so we make a concerted effort to create a supportive, family environment. We know our students work hard; we try to make sure they have fun as well.”

Pi Your Professor will be live tweeted @UNCCS, #uncpiyourprof. For more information about the event, contact Gina Rozier at


About Pi Day

Pi Day is the annual, national celebration of the mathematical constant, pi, which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The first significant digits of pi are 3.14, so the holiday falls on March 14.