Google broke Pi world record, requests 31.4-trillion works of art

Emma Haruka Iwao

Emma Haruka Iwao

Emma Hauka Iwao needed 121 days, 170 terabytes of data, and 25 virtual machines to accomplish the feat, and Google explains the particulars in a blog post.

Iwao's calculation set a new Guinness World Record. Google announced her accomplishment on March 14, which just so happens to be pi day.

In honor of Pi Day on Thursday, March 14, Google announced that the company's own Emma Haruka Iwao has surpassed the world record pi computation by almost nine trillion digits.

The Guinness World Records certified Iwao's milestone on Wednesday, making her the third woman to set a world record for calculating pi. During the entire time it took for calculations, the Google Cloud server were kept switched on to avoid any interruptions.

She works as a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google's office in Osaka, Japan.

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Emma spent four months working on the project in which she calculated pi to 31.4 trillion digits. "When I was a kid, I downloaded a program to calculate pi on my computer". She told CNN that it was her childhood dream to create such a record. It is defined as the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter.

An application called y-cruncher was used to calculate pi, the same used by the previous record holders since 2010, but this is the first time that cloud computing was used. It is significantly used in geometrical calculations.

She said she had been using computer programs to calculate pi since she was 12 years old.

Even with Google's infrastructure on her side, determining trillions of digits was no simple task.

Pi was first estimated thousands of years ago, and by the mid-20th century, mathematicians had calculated about 1,000 digits of the number, using a gear-driven calculator. By 2009, Daisuke Takahashi at the University of Tsukuba was calculating about 2.6 trillion digits of pi with a supercomputer.

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