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


Iwao's calculation set a new Guinness World Record.

Today is 14 March, also known as Pi Day (due to being written as 3/14 in the United States). Iwao's effort marked another first by relying on cloud technology, which had never been used for such a massive Pi calculation.

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

She works as a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google's office in Osaka, Japan. You can be one of the 31.4-TRILLION pieces of artwork made for Pi Day on Google's behalf! "There is no end with pi", Iwao tells the BBC. She said Google Compute Engine helped reach the record-breaking number because it allowed the application to run without interruption from "hardware failures or underlying software maintenance".

Even with Google's infrastructure on her side, determining trillions of digits was no simple task.

Pi, which is an irrational number with infinite decimals and is often rounded to 3.14, represents the ratio between a circle's circumference and its diametre. This is the first time the Pi calculation world record was ever broken in the cloud, and it breaks the most recent world record breakage, that of Peter Trueb in November of 2016.

The contstant is used in engineering, physics, supercomputing and space exploration - because its value can be used in calculations for waves and circles.

Iwao said she has been fascinated with pi since she was 12, writes Google.

Yes, Pi day is kind of like May the 4th. By 2009, Daisuke Takahashi at the University of Tsukuba was calculating about 2.6 trillion digits of pi with a supercomputer.

"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.