Precalculus, Algebra-I, Prealgebra, and Geometry students celebrated “p-Day in the US” and Einstein’s Birthday by watching the PBS Nova video “Inside Einstein’s Mind.”  If you think this was a `boondoggle’-think again!  Students were riveted as the video explained how Einstein translated “thought experiments” into abstract mathematics, which in turn described the large-scale structure of our universe with precision to many, many decimal places. Students followed the story keenly as they listened for answers to 25-questions handed out at the start. They learned that the name for Einstein’s theory of gravity is the “General Theory of Relativity.”  They watched video animation as Einstein tried (in his imagination) to “catch up with a beam of light.” He was the first to rigorously show that light travels at a finite speed, 3 X 108 meters per second.  This led to the special theory of relativity and equations proving that space and time are linked together in a four-dimensional spacetime continuum. 
Einstein wanted to know what would happen by study of objects in accelerated motionrelative to each other?  The “happiest thought of his life” was when he realized that the force of gravity and the force one feels in accelerated motion are one and the same.  Differential geometric equations were needed to describe how the curvature of spacetime generates the force we call gravity. Experimental proof came when astronomers observed beams of light bent around the sun during a total solar eclipse in 1919.  Next, Einstein strove for a “unified field theory” that would describe phenomena both at cosmic scales and atomic scales.  He was not successful in this quest.  The quest continues today by mathematical physicist who follow in Einstein’s footsteps. Although significant progress has been made, experts agree that we still have a long way to go!