Early prototypes of the new circle
GOOGLE IS CELEBRATING Pi Day (observed by nerds and spods alike on 14 March, because 3/14) with the biggest calculation of Pi ever.
Whilst we are often reticent to report on stories that are largely self-serving fluff, Google’s achievement here warrants a mention because it’s actual record-breaking science.
The new record was set by Googler Emma Haruyka Iwao, who isolated Pi to a staggering 31,415,926,535,897 decimal places. That’s one for every lie told during the Brexit campaign.
Using Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud, Ms Iwao smashed the previous record of 22.5 trillion digits. Using the cloud meant that the complex sum could be calculated with minimal risk of outage or downtime. Even a fraction of a second of non-useful time on a local supercomputer would have meant starting all over again.
It’s estimated that the calculation took 170TB of data – which to put it in perspective is roughly the contents of the US Library of Congress, or high quality .wav files of Prince’s entire unreleased back catalogue (ok, maybe not the second one).
The mega maths used 25 virtual machines and 121 days to do the sum. But Google, being Google, isn’t going to let the data sit in some dusty warehouse – oh no – you can download the finished sum (in what, let’s face it, must be one of the dullest downloads in history) for use in… well, things. Maths things.
Google is expected to use the maths to ensure circles are as round as possible. A more accurate calculation of Pi means that the nature of round stuff is better understood than ever before.
Round circles are important on everything from car tyres to toilet flushes. A slightly square circle could cause vehicles to veer off to the left a bit.
If you’d like to download the finished sum, you can find it here. Just do us a favour before you do, and take a good hard look at your life choices. μ
Source : Inquirer