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Google calculated pi to 31.4 trillion digits and broke a world record

14 March 2019

As its value is 3.14, Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day format).

She said the calculation took about 121 days to complete - with zero breaks, otherwise it would have been disrupted.

Iwao, a computer scientist and software engineer whose official title is cloud developer advocate, used y-cruncher, a program created by US software developer Alexander J. Yee that has been used in many previous pi record breakings. This is the first time the Pi calculation world record was ever broken in the cloud, and it breaks the most recent world record breakage, that of Peter Trueb in November of 2016.

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Google engineer Emma Haruka Iwao has calculated pi to 31 trillion digits, breaking the world record.

On the Google Cloud blog, Google announced that it managed to calculate pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places (31,415,926,535,897) using a y-cruncher created by Alexander J. Yee. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number and it continues infinitely without repetition or pattern. Emma Haruka Iwao found the new numerical value of pi with the help of the Google's cloud computing service.

She has been working toward this moment since she was 12, when she first downloaded software to calculate pi on her personal computer. No word yet on whether she will be celebrating her achievement the American way - by eating actual pie. "The biggest challenge is you need a lot of storage".

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"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.

Running the calculation on the cloud gives the mathematically curious a major upgrade in convenience, Google said.

Mathematician James Grime says that just 39 digits of pi is enough to calculate the circumference of the known universe, and NASA's Jet Propulsion lab only uses 15 digits to calculate interplanetary travel.

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"In terms of how long this record might stand, we can't predict the future".

Google calculated pi to 31.4 trillion digits and broke a world record