Have you ever wondered how your data is protected when you shop online, who engineered the antibodies that will treat victims of any future anthrax attacks, or whether the Deepwater Horizon spill affects the fish you eat?

Why do we celebrate Pi, the world's most famous number, every year on Pi Day? Finding the exact value of Pi has fascinated people since ancient times and mathematicians have calculated the irrational number out to more than 13 trillion digits. Lorenzo Sadun, professor of mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin, explains on The Conversation why this number captivates us and how it appears in many unexpected places.

An assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics has received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation, making him the second member of his department — and his household — to win the award in the last year.

Pi Day, celebrated every year on March 14, corresponds with the first three digits of pi (3.14 also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday). Pi pops up anytime you want to mathematically describe a circle, curve or sphere. Here at The University of Texas at Austin, our scientists and mathematicians have reasons to celebrate pi year-round.

In 2015, the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) celebrates its 10th anniversary. In honor of that milestone, we are checking in with some of the alumni of the FRI program who use what they learn in interesting ways. Olivia Biehle, an undergraduate double-majoring in Mathematics and Radio-TV-Film, combines her two very different passions through 3D filmmaking. She also used movie-making skills in her involvement with the Cosmic Dawn FRI research stream, as she explains in an interview.

With the most recent Fields Medal, the major award for math, going to a woman for the first time, more attention than usual has been on the under-representation of women in math graduate programs. The American Mathematical Society found that on average 22.5 percent of Ph.D. math students in Group I (top-tier) math departments are women. However, at UT Austin, which has a Group I department, an increasing share of the math graduate students are women. They include Maja Taskovic, a fifth-year graduate student, and her sister Milica Taskovic, a first-year graduate student. Today, 32 percent of all UT Austin math graduate students are women, and in the new 2014 cohort that Milica belongs to, women make up 43 percent of Ph.D. candidates.