Irrational News: Google’s Record-Breaking Pi Day Announcement
Ah, mathematical holidays. Pi Day is a celebration of the irrational number that is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It occurs every March 14 (because π is equal to 3.14159…). Regardless of whether you love pi or think we should forget it in favor of Tau Day (which falls on June 28), Pi Day is a nice excuse to eat pie and think about mathematics.
For Pi Day 2019, Google announced that a new world record had been set for the most accurate value of pi, USA Today reported. Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao used Google Compute Engine (powered by Google Cloud) to compute pi to 31.4 trillion (or π * 1013) decimal places, breaking a Guinness World Record.
“Emma used the power of the cloud for the task, making this the first time the cloud has been used for a pi calculation of this magnitude,” Mia Neagle wrote in a blog post for Google.
Emma Haruka Iwao also wrote a post about how she accomplished this feat. Here are some details from her post:
- She used y-cruncher and a cluster of virtual machines to break the record.
- She calculated almost nine trillion more digits of pi than the previous record holder – Peter Trueb.
- This is the first time that the cloud was used to break the record.
- The calculations were independently verified by Alexander J. Yee, developer of y-cruncher.
- “We ran 25 nodes for 111.8 days, or 2,795 machine-days (7.6 machine-years), during which time Google Cloud performed thousands of live migrations uninterrupted and with no impact on the calculation process.”
- You can gain web access to the digits through the pi.delivery service, which also has demos for listening to and visualizing π.
What mathematical holidays do you celebrate? Is Pi Day among them? Why or why not? What is your favorite mathematical holiday? (One of my new favorites for this year is “the jubilant festival known as Thirdsday!” in the words of James Propp.) Are you Team Pi, Team Tau or Team Pi and Tau? Share your feedback in the comments or on Twitter!