Pi dream: Googler sets record for most digits calculated

Pi Day 2019 Google Employee Emma Haruka Creates New Guinness World Record Calculating Pi to 31 Trillion Digits

The calculation required 140TB of data, and took about 121 days to complete.

Iwao, a computer scientist and software engineer whose official title is cloud developer advocate, used y-cruncher, a program created by US software developer Alexander J. Yee that has been used in many previous pi record breakings.

The previous record, set in November 2016 by Peter Trueb, was achieved using the BBP and Bellard formula. She first downloaded the software to calculate Pi at the age of 12 on her home computer.

Pi, for people who've been out of school for long enough to forget, is the number given when you divide a circle's circumference (length around the outside) by its diameter (length across the middle).

Her milestone was certified by Guinness World Records on Wednesday, making her the third woman to set a world record for calculating the number. It's an irrational number that continues infinitely without repetition.

Haruka Iwao ran the calculations using the y-cruncher application running on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines. The semi-official holiday for the unique number is celebrated by eating actual pies.


For years, mathematicians and computer scientists have raced to calculate ever more digits of Pi.

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

Emma said in the post that pi has been computed to 31.4 trillion decimal places or 31,415,926,535,897 digits to be exact, using Google Compute Engine, powered by Google Cloud. Google announced her accomplishment on March 14, which just so happens to be pi day.

This calculation was made thanks to the Pi-benchmark program developed by Alexander J. Yee, called y-cruncher.

Her former professor and one time world record holder for pi, Daisuke Takahashi, helped her with advice and technical strategies.

Running the calculation on the cloud gives the mathematically curious a major upgrade in convenience, Google said. "Hopefully we can do an even bigger computation in the future".

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