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A USA TODAY motion graphic explaining the significance of Pi. By Berna Elibuyuk and Ramon Padilla, USA TODAY.
USA TODAY

Just in time for Pi Day, a new world record has been set for calculating the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

On Thursday, Google revealed developer advocate Emma Haruka Iwao, with the help of the tech giant’s cloud platform, calculated Pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places, beating the previous record by nearly 9 trillion digits.

To do this, Iwao’s team used a program called ycruncher capable of computing Pi to trillions of digits powered by 25 virtual machines run through Google Cloud’s Compute Engine.

“The biggest challenge with pi is that it requires a lot of storage and memory to calculate,” said Iwao, who has worked with the company for nearly four years, in a blog posted published Thursday by Google.

The calculation required 170 terabytes of data, about the same amount of data as the entire Library of Congress print collection, said Google.

Emma Haruka Iwao, a developer advocate with Google, set a world record for the longest calculation of Pi, reaching more than 31 trillion decimal places. (Photo: Google)

After about 4 months of calculating, Iwao arrived at the record-breaking result.

“The world of math and sciences is full of records just waiting to be broken,” wrote Iwao in a separate Google post. “We had a great time calculating 31.4 trillion π digits, and look forward to sinking our teeth into other great challenges.” 

More: What is Pi Day? Everything you need to know about celebrating

More: Celebrate Pi Day March 14 with $3.14 pizza, free pie and more

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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