Driving Discovery Through Data

2 NIH to Celebrate a Special Pi Day!
Michelle C. Dunn / 03.09.15

On Friday March 13, 2015, Pi Day Eve, the NIH will celebrate the integration of the quantitative and biomedical sciences. Biomedical Big Data collaborations have the potential to accelerate discovery, open new avenues of research, and increase efficiency. NIH Pi Day will highlight the work that is already being done here at the NIH at the intersection of data science and biomedicine and the future of Biomedical Data Science. Pi Day is also an opportunity to contemplate what skills are needed to drive biomedical science forward through utilizing the massive amounts of data being collected.

Pi Day is an international celebration of mathematics held yearly on March 14, the calendar date that matches the first three digits (3.14) of the irrational number π (Pi). This year’s date 3.14.15 is special because it covers the first five digits of π.

The day will be packed full of events on the Bethesda campus, including  a keynote address by Dr. Eric Lander, Director of the Broad Institute, who will speak about “The Quantitative Future of the Biomedical Sciences.” The lecture will be open to the public and available by videocast. The NIH Pi Day Eve celebration provides more opportunities as well:

Pi Day is for networking: NIH staff can learn about one another’s quantitative work through posters and PiCo talks. PiCo talks are very short presentations, describing in 3 slides, 1 idea, within 4 minutes. The word PiCo is a play not only on the metric prefix meaning 10-12, but also on PetchaKucha, a networking event that promotes the art of concise presentations and which inspired this event.

PiCo Talks, Posters, and Networking Event 8:30 – 11 AM – 3/13/2015 – NIH Bldg 35 Rm 620/630

Pi Day is for learning: Through a half-day workshop titled “Reproducibility of Data Collection and Analysis,” NIH staff can learn about common reproducibility problems, in order to prevent making them and to read the literature with an informed eye.  In addition, the NIH Data Center is offering a special tour on Pi Day Eve, where staff can learn about NIH’s High Performance Computing infrastructure.

Reproducibility Workshop 12:30 – 5 PM – 3/13/2015 – NIH Bldg 35, Room 620/630

Pi Day is for exploring: As part of the festivities, NIH will welcome a group of high school teachers and students to explore the computational and quantitative aspects of biomedical science. They will tour the Clinical Center and the Data Center’s Biowulf Cluster, as well as have an opportunity to interact with eminent scientists.

Pi Day is for sharing: No Pi Day celebration would be complete without pies. There will be pies for sale, but more importantly, there will be an opportunity to donate pies to the Children’s Inn. As we think about how the methods of science rely on the abstractions of the quantitative sciences, what better way to bring the abstraction back to reality than to remember that in the end, the ultimate goal of everything we do is to benefit human health, whether to stay healthy or to treat the patient.

Enjoy some pie, share some pie!

Share your Pi day stories. Start a conversation. Connect with the Biomedical Data Science community. #NIH_PiDay

Pi Day @ NIH is hosted by the Office of the Associate Director for Data Science, the National Institutes of Health Library, the Office of Intramural Research, and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). Details about NIH’s Pi Day Celebration can be found at


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