Pi world record calculation broken by Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao

Google employee breaks record for calculating

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

Emma Haruka Iwao spent four months working on the project in which she calculated pi to 31.4 trillion digits.

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 previous world record, calculated in November 2016 by Peter Trueb, calculated Pi to around 9-trillion decimal places fewer than the number calculated this year by Google.

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.

Overall Emma used 25 Google Cloud virtual machines over 121 days to calculate Pi to this many digits. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number and it continues infinitely without repetition or pattern.

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Iwao's calculation set a new Guinness World Record.

"It was my childhood dream, a longtime dream, to break the world record for pi", Iwao said.

This calculation was made thanks to the Pi-benchmark program developed by Alexander J. Yee, called y-cruncher. I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to.

This feat was achieved by Emma Haruka Iwao, a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google.

In the past, if you wanted to share the longest known version of pi, you had to put it on a hard drive and mail it. She said Google Compute Engine helped reach the record-breaking number because it allowed the application to run without interruption from "hardware failures or underlying software maintenance".

As you would expect that amount of digits requires a lot of storage - she calculates she required 170 terabytes to finish the calculation. "Hopefully we can do an even bigger computation in the future".

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