They made their announcement today, on Pi day which falls on March 14th, or 3.14, the United States format of the date, in its most basic form. She works as a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google's office in Osaka, Japan. Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee, has broken the Guinness world record for calculating the most digits of Pi.
Using a y-cruncher computer program on Google Cloud over the last four months Emma was about to calculate Pi to 31.4 trillion (31,415,926,535,897 digits to be exact) digits. This is the first time the cloud has been used to calculate Pi to this magnitude. It's an irrational number that continues infinitely without repetition.
Pi is the number you get when you divide a circle's circumference by its diameter.
The calculation took 25 Google Cloud "virtual machines" more than 111 days. The semi-official holiday for the unique number is celebrated by eating actual pies.
According to Google, Iwao has been fascinated by pi since she was 12. "The biggest challenge is you need a lot of storage".
"It begins with 3.1415 and it goes on forever", she said, adding pi manifests itself in daily life through buildings, highways and bridges. As a child, she downloaded a program to calculate pi on her own computer.
Beyond being a convenient way to promote Google's own cloud products, Iwao's record shows how far cloud computing technology has come. I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to. Researchers who wanted to peer into a data set that large used to have to ship physical hard drives to one another, but now they can access the company's results remotely. 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".
"In terms of how long this record might stand, we can't predict the future".