Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Pi dream: Googler sets record for most digits calculated

Pi dream: Googler sets record for most digits calculated

She said the calculation took about 121 days to complete - with zero breaks, otherwise it would have been disrupted.

Today is Pi Day, and this year we know nine trillion more digits of the celebrated never-ending number than we did the last time Pi Day came around, thanks to a record-breaking calculation by Google engineer Emma Haruka Iwao.

The 31.4 trillion digits have been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most accurate value of pi after breezing past the record of 22.4 trillion digits set by Peter Tueb in November 2016. This is the first time the cloud has been used to calculate Pi to this magnitude.

A member of Google's staff has broken the world record for calculating Pi to the highest number of digits - at 31 trillion.

But the value of Pi, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, has new meaning on this Pi Day. It's an irrational number that continues infinitely without repetition. No word yet on whether she will be celebrating her achievement the American way - by eating actual pie.


Emma Haruka Iwao, a developer for, used an application called y-cruncher on 25 different virtual machines to generate the number from her office in Japan. Google announced her accomplishment on March 14, which just so happens to be pi day.

"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.

"It begins with 3.1415 and it goes on forever", she said, adding pi manifests itself in daily life through buildings, highways and bridges.

In the past, if you wanted to share the longest known version of pi, you had to put it on a hard drive and mail it. "Hopefully we can do an even bigger computation in the future". During the entire time it took for calculations, the Google Cloud server were kept switched on to avoid any interruptions.

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