Google sets new Guinness World Record on Pi Day

Alfred Osborne
March 14, 2019

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

The calculations took around four months (121 days) to complete and computed digits are now the published by Google Cloud as disk snapshots, which are available to anyone.

As a developer advocate, Iwao works with developers to help them get more from Google's cloud computing services - but she says the pi calculation was particularly important to her. Haruka Iwao set a new world record by calculating pi to 31.4 trillion digits using Google cloud technology.

The 31.4 trillion digits have been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most accurate value of pi after breezing past the record of 22.4 trillion digits set by Peter Tueb in November 2016. What's even interesting is that Google used cloud to make the Pi calculation.

Pi, which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, is commonly recognized for its first few digits, but the numbers go on until infinity.

A member of Google's staff has broken the world record for calculating Pi to the highest number of digits - at 31 trillion. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number and it continues infinitely without repetition or pattern.

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She has been working toward this moment since she was 12, when she first downloaded software to calculate pi on her personal computer.

As you would expect that amount of digits requires a lot of storage - she calculates she required 170 terabytes to finish the calculation.

"We achieved this feat using y-cruncher, a Pi-benchmark program developed by Alexander J. Yee, using a Google Compute Engine virtual machine cluster", the post reads. I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to.

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

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

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