Google employee breaks record, calculates 31.4 trillion digits of Pi

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Emma Hauka Iwao needed 121 days, 170 terabytes of data, and 25 virtual machines to accomplish the feat, and Google explains the particulars in a blog post.

They made their announcement today, on Pi day which falls on March 14th, or 3.14, the USA format of the date, in its most basic form. What's even interesting is that Google used cloud to make the Pi calculation. Calculating the digits of pi is a method of testing supercomputers, as well as a way for mathematicians simply to engage in some friendly competition.

Iwao did her number crunching primarily from Google's office in Osaka, Japan, where she works at as a developer and advocate for Google Cloud.

In 2016, Peter Trueb set the world record for the greatest number of digits of pi ever calculated by generating 22.4 trillion digits.

Ms Iwao said she had been fascinated by the number since she had been a child. 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. When I was a kid, I downloaded a program to calculate pi on my computer, ' Emma said. The interesting thing about Pi is that it's value is infinite in length. It's an important foundation of mathematics, most importantly in geometry, physics and engineering.

"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.

For those who stopped paying attention as soon as Ms. Johnson opened her mouth back in middle school, the mathematical constant pi (π) expresses the "ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter", whose first three digits are always 3.14. No word yet on whether she will be celebrating her achievement the American way - by eating actual pie.

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