Google employee breaks Guinness World Record calculating 31.4 trillion digits of Pi

Andrew Cummings
March 15, 2019

With this feat, Emma became the third woman to enter the Guinness World Record for calculating Pi up to large numbers.

Google Cloud is the world champion for Pi calculation, announced today, Pi Day, aka March 14th, or 3.14 2019.

To calculate the number, Iwao used an application called y-cruncher on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines.

"The biggest challenge with pi is that it requires a lot of storage and memory to calculate", says Iwao, whose calculation required 170 terabytes of data to complete, about the same amount of data as the Library of Congress' print collections hold. But even if you don't work for Google, you can apply for various scholarships and programs to access computing resources.

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

Here's the full mind-boggling number: 31,415,926,535,897 digits.

Emma Haruka Iwao grew up fascinated by pi.

Pi, for people who've been out of school for long enough to forget, is the number given when you divide a circle's circumference (length around the outside) by its diameter (length across the middle). It is significantly used in geometrical calculations.

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 is an infinite number essential to engineering.

Yes, Pi day is kind of like May the 4th. When I was a kid, I downloaded a program to calculate pi on my computer, ' Emma said.

'I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to myself.

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.

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