Google employee calculates pi to more than 31.4 trillion digits

Google Employee Breaks Guinness World Record Calculating 31.4 Trillion Digits of Pi

Google Employee Breaks Guinness World Record Calculating 31.4 Trillion Digits of Pi

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. She also credited Daisuke Takahashi, her former professor and a former world record holder for pi, for helping with the accomplishment. It's the number you get when you divide a circle's circumference by its diameter. When I was a kid, I downloaded a program to calculate pi on my computer, ' Emma said.

Emma and Google have shown that Google Cloud computing can be used to solve many complex mathematical problems and this is only the beginning of what is possible. "It seemed so fascinating to me". The interesting thing about Pi is that it's value is infinite in length. "Pi is one of the most important constants in mathematics".

Typically, such calculations have been done on a single machine or "virtual machine" because of the difficulty for passing information back and forth over the network when using multiple machines working together.

"The biggest challenge with pi is that it requires a lot of storage and memory to calculate", says Iwao, whose calculation required 170 terabytes of data to complete, about the same amount of data as the Library of Congress' print collections hold.

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Had any of the servers powering the cloud computers failed, so would her record.

Most people will be familiar with the first few digits of pi from geometry class (3.14.).

In the end, Emma's calculation took the virtual machines about 121 days to complete. Not in a practical sense, Iwao admits. I would list it here but I suspect that many digits may break the website.

But, she says, it'll come in handy for anyone studying the features of pi to better understand the number through statistical analysis. No word yet on whether she will be celebrating her achievement the American way - by eating actual pie.

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