Check out the video of Emma talking about Pi!

Video Credit: Google

A Google employee has broken the Guinness World Record for calculating pi to the most number of digits, just in time for Pi Day on 14 March – or 3.14.

Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao used Google’s cloud computing service to break the world record for calculating pi, an infinite number vital to engineering.

Most people will be familiar with the first few digits of pi from geometry class (3.14…). It is the number you get when you divide a circle’s circumference by its diameter.

Iwao – a cloud developer advocate who has been working at Google for over three years – successfully calculated pi to 31 trillion digits, beating the previous record by 9 trillion. Google announced her accomplishment on March 14, which just so happens to be the pi day.

Doing so required huge amounts of data processing. Using the program y-cruncher on a Google Compute Engine cluster, she ate through 170 terabytes of data over about four months. To give a sense of scale, the BBC writes that 200,000 music tracks total just 1 terabyte.

Iwao says that this is the first time cloud computing has been used to calculate pi and break the record. A Yahoo engineer used the company’s cloud tech in 2010 to calculate the 2 quadrillionth digits of pi but did not calculate all the numbers in between.

Iwao told the BBC that she is not done with pi. “There is no end with pi, I would love to try with more digits,” she said.

From an engineering standpoint, it is not necessary to know pi beyond around 20 or 30 digits, while scientific applications do not need pi beyond a few hundred digits. But from a software standpoint, it is an impressive feat to calculate pi into the trillions of digits.

Recommended Video –“This Genius Dad Uses Simple Trick And The Baby Stops Crying”