Pi is an irrational and transcendental number and it continues infinitely without repetition or pattern. You calculate it by dividing a circle's circumference by its diameter. "There is no end with pi", Iwao tells the BBC. The calculation took about four months and about 170 terabytes of data to complete, according to Google, or "roughly equivalent to the amount of data in the entire Library of Congress print collections".
The 31.4 trillion digits have been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most accurate value of pi after breezing past the record of 22.4 trillion digits set by Peter Tueb in November 2016. The computations, which rely on super computers to crunch trillions of numbers, have fueled an escalating scientific competition, but most real-world applications of Pi require only several hundred digits. Certainly there's not another one with a more celebrated day to call its own: 3/14, aka today, aka Pi Day. No word yet on whether she will be celebrating her achievement the American way - by eating actual pie.
On her Tiwtter, Iwao describes herself as: "Neutral Good with Lawful Evil traits / Developer Advocate for Google Cloud Platform / Software engineer, gamer, queer, and feminist".
Googler Emma Haraku Iwao took her fascination with pi all the way to 31.4 trillion digits. Iwao's effort marked another first by relying on cloud technology, which had never been used for such a massive Pi calculation.
Her former professor and one time world record holder for pi, Daisuke Takahashi, helped her with advice and technical strategies. "But now that it's been calculated with the cloud, the sky's the limit", a Google spokesperson said. So many in fact, that she now proudly holds the Guinness World Record for most calculated digits of pi: 31,415,926,535,897 digits.
In the past, if you wanted to share the longest known version of pi, you had to put it on a hard drive and mail it.
U.S. government space agency Nasa has said it has used pi in multiple ways, including to establish the size of parachute needed to send a device to Mars' surface, and to get a spaceship to brake so that it enters a planet's orbit.