Google helps smash pi calculation record

16 March, 2019, 12:47 | Author: Carlos George
  • The mathematical constant pi has fascinated math lovers since the day of its discovery

According to the BBC, it would take 332,064 years to say the 31.4 trillion-digit number.

The pi is the number found on dividing the perimeter of the circle with its diameter. "When I was a kid, I downloaded a program to calculate pi on my computer", she says.

Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee, just smashed the world record of calculating pi. "It seemed so fascinating to me".

Coming up with the figure used about 170TB of data and took 121 days to complete. But the birth of the digital computer in the 20th century supercharged efforts to estimate pi more precisely. It is not easy to extend the known sequence of digits in pi because no set pattern is followed by the number.

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For Iwao and her team, she expressed appreciation for teachers and previous record holders who helped her reach this extraordinary milestone: "I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to".

Running the calculation on the cloud gives the mathematically curious a major upgrade in convenience, Google said. She told CNN that it was her childhood dream to create such a record.

Interestingly enough, the computation resulted in a total of 10 PB of reads and 9 PB of writes - the latter being enough to destroy the average consumer solid state drives roughly 10 times. "If you want to calculate 31 trillion digital pi you need approximately 170 terabytes, thus the equivalent of 2,000 blue-ray disks". Not in a practical sense, Iwao admits. However, she isn't resting on her laurels and is already setting her sights on more digits. Nasa has previously published a list of some of the ways in which it uses pi. And Ms Iwao said she had been fascinated by the number since she had been a child. No word yet on whether she will be celebrating her achievement the American way - by eating actual pie.


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