Google employee breaks Guinness World Record calculating 31.4 trillion digits of Pi

Roman Schwartz
March 15, 2019

Fittingly, she used 25 Google Cloud virtual machines to generate the enormously long number.

Iwao's calculation set a new Guinness World Record.

It's Pi Day, the 3/14 celebration of perhaps the most famous number in history.

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.

Iwao, who performed the calculation from Google's office in Osaka, Japan, said it was the first time a pi record was calculated using cloud technology.

Iwao emphasized the importance of cloud computing, and how it can be used to solve complicated mathematical constants, such as pi.

On her Tiwtter, Iwao describes herself as: "Neutral Good with Lawful Evil traits / Developer Advocate for Google Cloud Platform / Software engineer, gamer, queer, and feminist". 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.

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Iwao told the BBC that she's not done with pi.

Iwao's calculation brings pi to 31,415,926,535,897 digits. It's the number you get when you divide a circle's circumference by its diameter.

Iwao said in the announcement that's she's been fascinated with pi since she was 12- and never imagined breaking the Guinness World Record. Google and Yee broke Trueb's record by almost 9 trillion digits.

Pi is an infinite number essential to engineering.

Pi Day, March 14, is a great excuse to seek out your favorite pie and indulge yourself in a warm, flaky crust with apple, cherry, chocolate, or whatever your favorite filling is.

"I'm really happy to be one of the few women in computer science holding the record, and I hope I can show more people who want to work in the industry what's possible", she said.

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