2018 graduate breaks record at WWU Randy Yaw Pi Contest

Andrew Fisher, 2018 Walla Walla University graduate with majors in mathematics and physics, set a new record for the 25th annual WWU Randy Yaw Pi Contest held on campus April 27 at 3:14 p.m. This year was Fisher’s third time participating in the contest during which participants compete to see who can recite the most digits of pi from memory.

WWU alumnus Randy Yaw started the competition in 1993 when he recited more than 100 digits of pi. The contest is the culmination of Math Awareness Week in April, which ends at the beginning of WWU Homecoming Weekend.

Fisher broke the contest record, which had stood for seven years, by reciting 1,773 digits of pi from memory. The old record of 1,769 was set by WWU student Lindsay Kelstrom in 2011 on her fourth consecutive attempt. While Fisher surpassed the record for number of digits, Kelstrom remains the record holder for consecutive attempts and wins.

“We knew Andrew would do well, but none of us realized he was shooting for the record,” said Timothy Tiffin, WWU professor of mathematics. “He only went four digits over the record. He wanted to break the record, but not obliterate it.”

The contest is open to anyone, but only WWU students can win awards. The awards this year were $314.15 for first place, $31.41 for second place, and $3.14 for third place. Next year’s pi contest is scheduled for Friday, April 26, 2019.

Posted June 26, 2018


Andrew Fisher standing in front of a chalkboard holding a pie
Andrew Fisher broke the record in April for the most digits of pi recited from memory.