By Tech Powered Dad | September 2, 2010
All hail Shigeru Kondo, the new king of pi! According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr. Kondo, a systems enginer, has broken the world record for the most digits calculated of pi, finding the ratio of a circle’s circumference to diameter to a mind-blowing 5 trillion places.
For those unfamiliar with pi, it is an irrational number, meaning that when expressed in decimal form, its decimal continues forever without ever reaching a repeating pattern. Methods for calculating pi to as many decimal places as desired have been around since well before the electronic age, but without computers, it is a tedious process.
To achieve the feat, Mr. Kondo used a computer that he custom built, which cost almost $18,000, used a 32 terabyte hard drive, and had a series of fans blowing on it at all times to keep it cool. The computer ran a full 90 days to complete the calculation.