A Google employee has used the company’s cloud computing service to calculate Pi to a world record length.
To celebrate Pi Day which falls on the March 14, Emma Haruka Iwao from Japan has broken a Guiness World Record after successfully computing Pi as being 31.4 trillion decimal places. That’s 31,415,926,535,897 to be exact, or π * 1013 to be exact!
Pi is when you divide a circle’s circumference by its diameter. 3.14 are famously the first digits of Pi, with most people unable to remember any numbers after that.
This most accurate value of Pi has beaten the previous record, set by Peter Trueb in November 2016, by almost 9 trillion digits. Google attempted this record for Pi Day to show the power of Google Cloud’s infrastructure. Google announced their achievement in a blog post on their website.
In order for this massive calculation to be completed, it required a gigantic 170 terabytes of data. It also also took 121 days to complete the calculate, using 25 virtual machines. Iwao used Chudnovsky’s formula, an algorithm for calculating the digits of Pi at an incredibly fast rate.
Speaking about the achievement, Iwao told the BBC:
I feel very surprised, I am still trying to adjust to the reality. The world record has been really hard.
There is no end with pi, I would love to try with more digits.
She also said that it would take 332,064 years to say the 31.4 trillion number!
Using the company’s Compute Engine, they were able to do an insane amount of math uninterrupted.
In the blog post on the company’s website, they said:
We ran 25 nodes for 111.8 days, or 2,795 machine-days (7.6 machine-years), during which time Google Cloud performed thousands of live migrations uninterrupted and with no impact on the calculation process.
It’s a tremendous effort and a great way to celebrate the day which celebrates Pi Day. Beaten that world record would a serious amount of data and days to do the number crunching. I don’t think it’s going to be beaten for a long time.
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