In today’s edition of “Dear god it goes on forever” — Yahoo computers manage to find the 2,000,000,000,000,000th (Two Quadrillionth) digit of Pi — the never ending quest to find the circumference of a circle. (We’ll get it someday!)
Math students all over the world have slaved over the never ending series of digits that start “3.14” and continue into infinity, and now it seems students will have to remember yet another digit.
From the BBC:
Nicholas Sze, of technology firm Yahoo, determined that the digit - when expressed in binary - is 0.
Mr Sze used Yahoo’s Hadoop cloud computing technology to more than double the previous record.
The computation took 23 days on 1,000 of Yahoo’s computers, racking up the equivalent of more than 500 years of a single computer’s efforts.
The heart of the calculation made use of an approach called MapReduce originally developed by Google that divides up big problems into smaller sub-problems, combining the answers to solve otherwise intractable mathematical challenges.
At Yahoo, a cluster of 1,000 computers implemented this algorithm to solve an equation that plucks out specific digits of pi.
My feeble brain just hurts thinking about it.
Read the rest of the article for a better explanation.