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MIT Recruited a Superhero for a Pi Day Quest

MIT’s annual Pi Day video, which the elite university uses to tout its habit of sending out acceptance letters on March 14, stars Riri Williams of Marvel Comics fame this year.

March 14 is typically batted about as “Pi Day” in pop culture as the date abbreviates to 3/14 or 3.14, matching the first three digits of the mathematical constant.

It’s a nice tie-in because the comic book character, also known as Ironheart in the Marvel universe, wins acceptance to MIT, which she attends starting at the ripe age of 15. There, Williams constructs her own Iron Man-like suit of armor.

It also works as a recruiting opportunity for MIT. Williams is a black woman at a time when gender and racial diversity is a hot-button item at institutions of higher learning. MIT, based in Cambridge, Mass., is famous for turning out computer scientists, engineers, physicists, economists, medical researchers other masters of their fields, including a bumper crop of Nobel Prize laureates,

Williams is played in the video by “Ayomide F.,” a member of MIT’s class of 2018, according to the video’s credits. Stu Schmill, MIT’s dean of admissions, co-stars.

Last year’s video starred BB-8 (pronounced “bee-bee ate”), the darling droid of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In 2015, the video was all about drones.

Last year, MIT accepted just 1,511 freshman out of just over 19,000 applications.