Google Celebrates Pi Day As Employee Calculates New World Record

Daniel Fowler
March 15, 2019

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.

Her milestone is certified by Guinness World Records, making Iwao the third woman to set a world record for determining the number that continues infinitely without repetition.

Google made the announcement on March 14 (3.14), which is known as 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 biggest challenge with pi is that it requires a lot of storage and memory to calculate", Haruka Iwao said. "And I learned some people use computers to calculate millions and billions of digits of pi".

She works as a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google's office in Osaka, Japan. Now, she's computed over 31 trillion of its digits.

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Iwao told the BBC that she's not done with pi. She also credited Daisuke Takahashi, her former professor and a former world record holder for pi, for helping with the accomplishment.

According to Google, Iwao has been fascinated by pi since she was 12. This is nearly 9 trillion digits more than the previous world record, which was set in November 2016 by Peter Trueb.

Talking about her journey, she says, "When I was a kid, I didn't have access to supercomputers". Pi is calculated by dividing a circle's circumference by its diameter. Saying the value of an irrational and transcendental number is quite a popular thing to do on Pi Day.

"There is no end with pi, I would love to try with more digits".

She broke the world record for pi set by Peter Trueb in 2016, which was 22.4 trillion digits long. The semi-official holiday for the unique number is celebrated by eating actual pies.

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