World record for calculating pi has been smashed

Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao’s value for the ratio contains over 31 trillion digits

A Google employee has broken the world record for the most accurate value of pi. File photograph: Getty Images

A Google employee has broken the world record for the most accurate value of pi. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A Google employee has broken the world record for the most accurate value of pi, putting the number of digits at 31,415,926,535,897.

Emma Haruka Iwao, a cloud developer advocate for the company, smashed the previous record of 22 trillion, using 25 Google Cloud virtual machines.

Coming up with the figure used about 170 terabytes of data and took 121 days to complete.

“The biggest challenge with pi is that it requires a lot of storage and memory to calculate,” Ms Iwao said.

“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.”

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It begins with 3.14 and continues infinitely.

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

“We use pi for everything in our daily life: designing buildings, building bridges, highways – pi is one of the most important constants in mathematics and science,” she said.

The announcement comes on the annual Pi Day celebration, observed on March 14th. – PA