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It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a...pie?

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More than 200 students, faculty and staff turned out for the third annual Pi-Mile Run and Walk.
More pictures of the event here.
Photos/Victor Chen

Honor society holds first-ever pie drop to mark Pi Day

San Diego, Calif., March 14, 2014--Move over watermelons and pumpkins! There’s a new addition to the list of things that are being dropped from the top of UC San Diego’s buildings—pie. To be more precise, a 13-inch, 4.5 pounds cherry pie from Costco, which was dropped from the third floor of the Structural and Materials Engineering building.

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Officers of the UC San Diego chapter of Tau Beta Pi drop a cherry Costco pie from the third floor of the Structural and Materials Engineering building.

It was all part of Pi Day celebrations March 14 at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Fun for the day also included the third annual Pi-Mile Run and Walk, which set a record for turnout, with more than 200 people taking part.

The pie drop was the brainchild of the UC San Diego chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honors society. Students were inspired by two time-honored UC San Diego traditions: the pumpkin drop at Muir College in October and the watermelon drop at Revelle College in June.

For extra fun and because this was taking place at the engineering school, organizers challenged students to guess how big of a splash the pie would make once it hit the ground, which had been covered with blue tarp for extra-easy clean up. It turns out the cherry pie left a fairly hefty mark: 18.3 feet across. The three closest guesses got gift cards. Everyone got slices from a wide variety of pies, including pumpkin, apple, lemon and pecan, to name a few.  

Some in attendance were double-dipping, after having earned a slice of apple pie by running 3.14 miles during the Jacobs School’s third annual Pi-Mile Run and Walk. The first to cross the finish line and earn his slice of pie was Dave Berry, a graduate student in bioengineering, and a member of UC San Diego’s triathlon team.

Berry, who completed the run in just 18 minutes 40 seconds, works in the same lab as Mark Chapman, the event’s lead organizer. He was sweating but wasn’t done. “I’m going to run more after this,” he said. He was excited to collect his prize—a Jacobs School travel mug. “It goes with my coffee addiction,” he said.

The first woman to cross the finish line, in 21 minutes and 20 seconds, was Jennifer Kaehms, a bioengineering undergraduate student, who heard about the run from Berry. The event was a great way to diffuse week 10 tension, she said. “This brings the community together,” she added. Kaehms is working with Geert Schmid Schoenbein, a professor of bioengineering, on a start up. She’s been involved with the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center as well. “I enjoy entrepreneurship,” she said.

The Pi-Mile Run and Walk also had a first-place dog finisher, Hiccup, a 2-year-old Shiba inu, whose owner, John Chen, is a UC San Diego alum. This was Hiccup’s first Pi-Mile Run. Would she come back next year? “Sure, why not?” Chen said.

Watch a video of the pie drop:

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Dave Berry, a graduate student in bioengineering, was the first to cross the finish line.
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Hiccup, far right, the first dog finisher in the arms of her owner, John Chen.

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Media Contacts

Ioana Patringenaru
Jacobs School of Engineering
Phone: 858-822-0899
ipatrin@ucsd.edu

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