Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Latest news
Main » Google employee breaks the world record for calculating the value of pi

Google employee breaks the world record for calculating the value of pi

15 March 2019

This time, Iwao used Google's cloud computing service to crunch the required 170 terabytes of data, which took 25 virtual machines about four months to get through.

A member of Google's staff has broken the world record for calculating Pi to the highest number of digits - at 31 trillion. Google announced her accomplishment on March 14, which just so happens to be pi day.

Iwao, a computer scientist and software engineer whose official title is cloud developer advocate, used y-cruncher, a program created by USA software developer Alexander J. Yee that has been used in many previous pi record breakings.

The Guinness World Records certified Iwao's milestone on Wednesday, making her the third woman to set a world record for calculating pi.

Iwao emphasized the importance of cloud computing, and how it can be used to solve complicated mathematical constants, such as pi.

This feat was achieved by Emma Haruka Iwao, a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google. Now, she's computed over 31 trillion of its digits.

For years, mathematicians and computer scientists have raced to calculate ever more digits of Pi.

Iwao told the BBC that she's not done with pi.

Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. A Yahoo engineer used the company's cloud tech in 2010 to calculate the 2 quadrillionth digit of pi, but did not calculate all the numbers in between.

Iwao said in the announcement that's she's been fascinated with pi since she was 12- and never imagined breaking the Guinness World Record.

Talking about her journey, she says, "When I was a kid, I didn't have access to supercomputers". It's an important foundation of mathematics, most importantly in geometry, physics and engineering.

Although the first digits of pi are well known as 3.14, the number is infinite in length.

"At the time, the world record holders were Yasumasa Kanada and Daisuke Takahashi, who are Japanese, so it was really relatable for me growing up in Japan", she said on Google's official blog. And for her and her colleagues at her Tokyo office, she adds, it was worth celebrating with "an actual pie".

Google employee breaks the world record for calculating the value of pi