Cheery Pi

Posted by John Dojka on January 4, 2008 in
Here's a question about RPI's alma mater -- did the lyrics include the first few digits of pi? The answer is no, but there was a cheer that included it along with some other math lingo. Do you know it?

E to the X - DY -DX
E to the X - DX
cosine, secant, tangent, sine,
3 - point - 1 - 4 - 1 - 5 - 9
square root, cube root, log of pi,


Frank DuBois
Mon, 05/05/2008 - 13:23 Permalink

I think nearly everyone who attended RPI in the 50's will remeber that cheer even tho' it is a little weird. F DuBois '56

Fri, 10/17/2008 - 02:17 Permalink

We still used it in the '70s

Thu, 11/06/2008 - 02:22 Permalink

We used it in the mid 80's and is one of the fun things I tell my kids about to proove just how much of a nerd there mom really was! My son has told me that he had to take enough math just to make sense of the cheer. what motivation.

Tim Chemacki
Mon, 07/06/2009 - 12:44 Permalink

I remember hearing this in the late '80s as well.

Sharon Tasman
Mon, 09/14/2009 - 18:18 Permalink

I was at RPI from 1984 to 1987 and I remember it well - I still have it committed to memory. Even to this day when talking to RPI friends, "E to the X DY DX" somehow always creeps into the conversation.

Sue and Mark
Tue, 12/07/2010 - 11:32 Permalink

I graduated in 89 (ouch!) and it was around then. Just now sitting around the table remembering it got us to this page :) going over it with our son. Math geeks unite! I remember seeing the cheer printed in Reader's Digest :) someone made $50 for that!

Brandon White
Sun, 05/01/2011 - 16:46 Permalink

Actually, this cheer was printed up in a November 1987 issue of Sports Illustrated - then football coach Kevin Earl pointed it out to me. The article talked about how bad RPI's football team was - since then, 20 of 23 RPI football seasons had winning records.

MIT stole the cheer and got it on ABC - we all know which school invented it, though! Go Bachelors!

Thu, 02/02/2012 - 22:52 Permalink

I go to RPI now...I nor anyone else has ever heard of this. That's kind of sad :'(

selina ferrer
Sun, 01/11/2015 - 12:17 Permalink

My dad (RPI'55) taught me the cheer when I needed some motivation to do middle school math. I just looked it up to get it right now that my son is tackling circumference. It is a great motivator!

Fred Timm
Thu, 07/18/2019 - 07:42 Permalink

Does anyone have The Ohio State University, Mechanical Engineers' version from the early 60's? It started "e to the x dx, e to the y(?) … ". I'd certainly appreciate any help. FT BME '65

Michael Teitelbaum.DMD
Wed, 12/26/2018 - 20:42 Permalink

I was in the pep band in the fabled 1985 NCAA championship year. The hockey team credited us for scoring a goal because the other team's goalie was a math major and as RPI came down the ice at him we did e to the x. We saw him turn his head to the side, listening, trying to make sense of it & in that instant RPI shot and scored! After that we were their good luck charm and they diverted money from their budget to get us to every single game, all the way thru to the finals in Boston Garden!

Sat, 10/22/2016 - 19:04 Permalink

Wow! I first read about this while perusing a copy of Reader's Digest in the late 80's. I think I was taking calculus at the time and thought this was so nifty that I memorized it. I did not know it was subsequently stolen by MIT but will always remember it as RPI's cheer.

I taught school (science) for a few years and one year my sixth period class surprised me (they all shouted "PI TIME!!!") at 1:59 on March 14. It took me a moment to figure it out, but when I said, "3.14159... oh I get it" the kids seemed surprised.

Sean Sullivan
Tue, 08/27/2019 - 14:37 Permalink

I was at RPI in the late 80's and remember this well. I've taught it to my son who is a current math major (but not at RPI) and he just shakes his head in shame. I love it.

Add new comment


Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
Your name
Back to top