Google employee breaks world record for calculating pi

Google employee breaks record for calculating

Emma Haruka Iwao a Google employee calculated 31,415,926,535,897 digits of pi setting a world record

The calculation took 25 Google Cloud "virtual machines" more than 111 days.

Iwao set the newest Guinness World Record for the most accurate value of pi on Thursday. Google announced her accomplishment on March 14, which just so happens to be pi day. As you would expect that amount of digits requires a lot of storage - she calculates she required 170 terabytes to finish the calculation.

Google cloud developer advocate Emma Haruka Iwao thinks in terms of trillions of pi digits. "There is no end with pi, I would love to try with more digits", she said. Pi is calculated by dividing a circle's circumference by its diameter.

This is the first time the pi record has been broken using a commercial cloud service, Google Cloud Platform, rather than supercomputers and custom-built PCs, noted Yee in his own blog post.

"Pi seems simple - it starts with 3.14", she says.

The contstant is used in engineering, physics, supercomputing and space exploration - because its value can be used in calculations for waves and circles.

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According to Google, Iwao has been fascinated by pi since she was 12.

This year marks the 31st anniversary of Pi Day, which is believed to be celebrated first by physicist Larry Shawand and his peers at the Exploratorium in San Francisco in 1988.

"I liked computers when I was a kid", she tells NPR's Here & Now. I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to.

Typically, such calculations have been done on a single machine or "virtual machine" because of the difficulty for passing information back and forth over the network when using multiple machines working together.

"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", she said.

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