How would a Greek-lettered company called Mu Sigma treat mundane March 14?
It has gone all-out to celebrate Pi Day. That's 3.14, the month-first way some parts of the world write the date.
Pi, the Greek letter posing stylishly on two legs and which we first met over a circle in school, apparently sends maths aficionados into dizzy circles. They make merry with pi(e) eating contests and share pi-ems and jokes if they are not outdoing each other in ranting off the most possible decimal places of the endless figure. Feats that would rival a gymnast's greeting his pi-like pommel-horse, if you like.
Back in Bangalore, it is a special Pi Wednesday at Dhiraj Rajaram's brainchild Mu Sigma. There are gifts to employees, Pi quizzes and in-house competitions to share its joy over the mysterious but most commonly known maths constant.
Ambiga Dhiraj, Head of Talent Management at Mu Sigma, said, "We have partnered with radio channel Fever 104 and select Café Coffee Day outlets in Bangalore to get the word out to the public. Additionally, we have leveraged our social media platforms to ensure virtual participation.”
March 14 is also Albert Einstein's 133rd birth anniversary.
2012, Rajaram, Founder and CEO of what has been called a maths factory, reminds us, is also the Year of Mathematics. And Mu Sigma is all about putting maths into business and technology.
“Maths is our key differentiator. We believe in celebrating the Year of Mathematics and evangelising the use of applied mathematics in a real-time business environment,” he said. Maths, in his view, is the only universal language that is also critical to music and language; it may be even in aliens' signals as the Hollywood film Contact imagined.
The 2000 people at Mu Sigma's Bangalore and US offices are not plain engineers, economists, statisticians and B-school brains. They are picked for their aptitude for maths. “We have ways to figure it out during interviews,” Rajaram said. “We focus on hiring people with a quantitative bent of mind, and not necessarily pure mathematical skills. Our focus is to integrate applied maths, business and technology.”
Once hired, they go through an extensive orientation through the Mu Sigma University, “which is designed to transform raw scientific capital into effective analytics professionals.”
Next, Mu Sigma plans to weave events – virtual, on-ground and in campus - around the Year of Maths.
As for the Pi-ed people, 22/7 is the next stop. Wait until Pi Approximation Day – July 22.