It’s Pi Day, a celebration of numbers and an excuse to indulge in delicious, fruity pastries. So celebrated thanks to its calendar number—March 14, or 3/14—it’s a big day for mathletes everywhere. But Google took it to the next gear: To honor the day, they successfully calculated π to 31.4 trillion decimal places. It’s the most precise calculation of Pi ever.
The Guinness World Record-breaking feat was accomplished by Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee based in Seattle, who accomplished it with the help of Google Cloud and a program known as y-cruncher, a “ Pi-benchmark program” developed by Alexander J. Yee. The calculation contains almost nine trillion more digits than the previous record-breaker.
31.4 trillion: the number of π digits calculated.
Congratulations to @Yuryu, who set the new world record, calculating almost 9 trillion more digits than the previous world record using Compute Engine VM clusters → https://t.co/j9Hwh4r1YL #PiDay pic.twitter.com/OzwYaXCjYL
— Google Cloud Platform (@GCPcloud) March 14, 2019
According to CNN Business, Iwao is the third woman to set a world record for calculating π. “It was my childhood dream, a longtime dream, to break the world record for pi,” she told the publication. She’s been working on the calculation since she was 12 years old, working from a personal computer in Japan with her own software. She also credits her old professor Daisuke Takahashi, himself a former Pi record holder, for helping her with technical strategies.
“The world of math and sciences is full of records just waiting to be broken,” Iwao wrote in a statement from Google. “We had a great time calculating 31.4 trillion π digits, and look forward to sinking our teeth into other great challenges.”
We can’t imagine a better way to celebrate Pi Day than with something like this! Congratulations to Iwao, Google, and math in general for the accomplishment. You all deserve a slice of your favorite-flavored pie to celebrate.
Images: Protozoa Pictures, Google