A Google employee has broken the world record for calculating digits of Pi, beating the reigning champion 3 times over with an astonishing 31.4 trillion decimal place calculation.
Beating The World Record
Google decided they wanted to celebrate Pi Day in the most audacious way they could, announcing that one of their employees had calculated Pi to a precision of 31.4 trillion decimal places.
Emma Haruka Iwao used Google Compute Engine, running on Google Cloud, to smash the previous record for computing Pi, around 9 trillion digits. In order to accomplish this feat, Iwao used what is known as a y-cruncher and ran it on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines, according to Google’s blog post announcing the achievement.
“The biggest challenge with pi is that it requires a lot of storage and memory to calculate,” Iwao says. In total, all that data required 170 terabytes of data and took 121 days to calculate.
Google notes that this is “roughly equivalent to the amount of data in the entire Library of Congress print collections.”
For Iwao and her team, she expressed appreciation for teachers and previous record holders who helped her reach this extraordinary milestone: “I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to. I’m really happy to be one of the few women in computer science holding the record, and I hope I can show more people who want to work in the industry what’s possible.”
Happy Pi Day
The new world record was announced today, March 14th—affectionately known as Pi Day—, which celebrates mathematics most well known constant, 3.141592…
Pi is an irrational number without a known end, and represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is the most important numbers in mathematics other than zero and it serves as the foundation of entire fields of mathematics and engineering.
Correction: The initial version of this article misstated the 4th and 5th digits of Pi. They are not 9 and 5 and the numbers have been corrected. The writer is mortified by his failure and has offered to surrendered his science card. No decision has yet been made as to his fate.