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## 83,431 Recited Digits of Pi433

i_like_spam writes "59-year-old Akira Haraguchi of Japan recently broke the world record for the recited number of digits of Pi. Haraguchi-san recited an amazing 83,431 digits of Pi during a 13-hour overnight stretch. This almost doubles the previous record of 42,195 digits by fellow Japanese Hiroyuki Goto. Though it is not yet updated to reflect the new record, the Pi-World-Ranking-List has the rules for participation and breaks down the ranking by world, continent, and country. Links to world rankings for memorized digits of E and Sqrt(2) are also given."
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## 83,431 Recited Digits of Pi

• #### Miscalculation? (Score:4, Informative)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:45AM (#12968738) Homepage
Haraguchi-san recited an amazing 83,431 digits of Pi during a 13-hour overnight stretch. This more than doubles the previous record of 42,195 digits by fellow Japanese Hiroyuki Goto.

Um, I'm not a math major, but since when is 83,431 > 84,390, which is double the amount of 42,195? You don't even need a calculator to figure that one out. But as far as the accomplishment goes: That's a simply amazing feat, I applaud Haraguchi greatly, How do you memorize a number that deep, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast.
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:2, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward
Understandable. Had you been a *physics* major you would have noticed that he recited pi at a *faster* rate than the previous guy and thus the metric of the frame of reference gets *dilated*, giving just a bit over the aformentioned factor of 2.
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:3, Interesting)

Numbers from 1-10 in Japanese each have a reading associated with them (1=hi, 2=fu, 3=mi...) that makes it easier to form them into mnemonics than in English.

So it wasn't as hard as it looked - he just memorised an 83,431 syllable mnemonic.
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:3, Funny)

Numbers from 1-10 in Japanese each have a reading associated with them (1=hi, 2=fu, 3=mi...) that makes it easier to form them into mnemonics than in English.

Actually English has that too. It sounds something like "wun," "tooh," "three"....
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:5, Informative)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:36AM (#12968969) Journal
To set the record straight...

...as a mistake, I initially typed '84,431', which more than doubles the previous record. After finding and correcting my numerical mistake, I forgot to change 'more than doubles' to 'nearly doubles'. Oops.
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:43AM (#12968991) Homepage
So this guy recites 83,431 digits, and you can't type 5?
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:3, Funny)

I'd like to reply to this thread, but I can't think of anything that ends in "am" to say I like.

• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:2)

No harm done, I guess. But I'm sure the rest of the folks here still reserve the right to jump down your throat. Interesting story nonetheless.
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:3, Informative)

The preceeding sentence to "This more than doubles the previous record" mentions time, which suggests to me the record it refers to is a measure of performance of reciting Pi - measured by the rate of recital, not the number of digits managed.

The reason time wasn't mentioned in the claim i.e. "this more than doubles the previous record of 21,195 digits in X hours" is most likely because the information wasn't available to the submitter.
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:2, Funny)

Uh, you're probably not an English major either because you misquoted the article, "This almost doubles the previous record of 42,195 digits by fellow Japanese Hiroyuki Goto."

...unless they recently fixed the article text?
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:2)

Yes it was fixed.
• #### Re:Miscalculation? (Score:2)

How do you memorize a number that deep
Then you make a story ...
• #### A simple mnemonic for the first 15 (Score:3, Funny)

Memorize the sentence "how I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy chapters involving quantum mechanics". The digits of PI are the number of letters in each word. Of course, this may not help too much if you are into "Slashdot spelling"...
• #### It's easy... (Score:3, Funny)

How do you memorize a number that deep

You only have to remember about 40 numbers and then they start repeating.
• #### Actually (Score:5, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:46AM (#12968740)
She only recited 10, the other numbers were just dupes.
• #### Re:Actually (Score:2)

Still less dupes than Slashdot ...
• #### In Base 10? piece of cake... er pie (Score:3, Funny)

I took the time to memorize pi to over 100,000 digits in base PI. When's that competition?
• #### (lame comment) (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:46AM (#12968741) Homepage
A 59-year-old Japanese psychiatric counselor set a world record of sorts Sunday by reciting "pi," or the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, to 83,431 digits.

Good, now she can counsel herself on having more exciting things to do than learning and reciting the digits of a number anyone of us can look up.
• #### Explain (Score:5, Insightful)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:07AM (#12968843)
You think that's funny? Then please explain to me why, for example, devoting your life to run 100 meters faster than any other human is not considered funny? Is it because the latter pays unbelievably well if you succeed? Laugh all you want but frankly, I don't see much of a difference...
• #### Re:Explain (Score:3, Insightful)

since when has dedicating your life to running the 100 meter dash not funny? I'm laughing at both, although I'm happy for them that they've found some life goal that makes them happy.

I know for a fact people laugh at me on those occasions I'd rather work out an idea in front of the computer on a Friday night instead of going out :)

To each their own. Hell, first thing I did on a Saturday morning is made this post to slashdot!
• #### Good times. (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:48AM (#12968752)
When i think of hobbies, learning a sequence of 83,000 digits sounds like a good time.
• #### People (Score:3, Insightful)

When I think of people. I think that there are a lot of them. More than 6 billion actually. It would seem that there is enough people that there would be people doing all kinds of things, including memorizing digits of Pi. I'm sure there is also a whole underground group of people who memorize digits of e and are disgruntled because the pi memorizing people get more attention.
• #### Re:People (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:08AM (#12968846) Journal
I memorized i. People memorizing Pi and e are too irrational for my tastes.
• #### Re:People (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:11AM (#12968859)
Pft you memorized i? Come back when you memorize a real number.
• #### Re:People (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:14AM (#12968876) Journal
Well, I also memorized 1/3. However, the competition has been going on for 73 days now, and I'm not sure I can keep going much longer.

What does it take to be number 1? Two is not a winner, and three no one remembers...
• #### Re:People (Score:4, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @11:24AM (#12969176)
And be a square? Never!
• #### Re:People (Score:2)

I memorized i. People memorizing Pi and e are too irrational for my tastes.
That's nothing. I've memorized all of e^(pi * i).

But seriously, I thought I was geeky for memorizing 3.141592653579323. OTOH, it does give one a certain reputation when you look over a cow-orker's shoulder, and tell him that he's got the value of pi #define'd wrongly.

• #### Re:People (Score:2)

Yea. It does give you a certain rep... especially after they find out you were wrong ;) Might want to check those digits again :)
• #### Oops, typo (Score:2)

3.141592653579323

s/3579/358979/
• #### Re:People (Score:2, Funny)

Too complex for me. I like to keep it real.
• #### Re:Good times. (Score:2)

When i think of hobbies, learning a sequence of 83,000 digits sounds like a good time.

I seriously would have much more respect for someone who went down to the local homeless shelter and helped out now and then, instead of investing serious ammounts of time doing something pointless in a vain search for a fleeting moment of fame.

• #### Re: Contra (Score:2)

My best feat was memorizing:

UDUDLRLRBA Select Start

And it actually had a practical application.
• #### Never going to be me.... (Score:2)

I can barely remember my phone number most of the time :)

--Dave
• #### Still a t-shirt (Score:3, Informative)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:51AM (#12968769) Homepage
For the beginning reciters among us, we at least still have a nice t-shirt with the first 4493 digits of Pi in the shape of the Pi symbol [thinkgeek.com].
• #### Rank list goes down to 50? (Score:3, Interesting)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:51AM (#12968773) Homepage
Why does the rank list go down to 50 digits? Surely there are many people in the world who can recite more than 50 digits of pi that aren't listed here, so unless these people are noteworthy for some other reason, their inclusion seems a bit pointless.
• #### Re:Rank list goes down to 50? (Score:2)

RTFWS - you have to complete an application form to be included on their list.
• #### In other news (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:52AM (#12968776)
• #### That Would Take Hours Just To Recite (Score:2)

It would take hours just to recite all of that. I wonder how many days or months it took to learn it? Unless they are able to memorize on sight, which is a rare talent, just repeating the digits several times could easily take up a few months.
I guess it's a claim to fame, but geesh, isn't there better ways to spend your time, like posting on slashdot or something?

Modern Software Is Wasting Our Time! [whattofix.com]
• #### Wait a minute? (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:52AM (#12968780)
How do you know they are reciting, and not actually working it all out as they go along?
• #### Re:Wait a minute? (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:25AM (#12968917) Journal
Not sure if you were kidding or not.

Solving Pi algorithmically in your head would be a larger feat than memorizing it.
• #### His wife must be proud! (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @09:53AM (#12968788)
Wait..er...the odds of him actually having a girlfriend are 83,431 to 1.

• #### That's a slow storage device (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:00AM (#12968809)
83,431 digits is about 33.8 kB of data. Read out over 13 hours means the data rate averages under 6 baud -- and I thought 110 baud modem on a teletype was slow.

I don't even want to think about the write speed of this storage device. At least the storage capacity of the device has nearly doubled (from 42,195 digits or 17.1 kB).
• #### Re:That's a slow storage device (Score:2)

Not to mention seek time, I doubt if he can give you the 19482th and 32821th digit of Pi very quicklywhen you ask him. ;-)
• #### Re:That's a slow storage device (Score:2)

Strictly a sequential access device. OK for backups, but no good for database work.

• #### Re:That's a slow storage device (Score:2, Interesting)

Interesting post :) Just to throw my \$0.02 in, the vocal cords and ears can act as a bottle neck skewing the actual rates of data transport.
• #### I can do that too (Score:2, Funny)

Not with Pi, but for example with 1/3 and even with 2/3!

<matthew.townsend@gma i l . com> on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:00AM (#12968813) Homepage Journal
bash.org #98
i don't have hard drives. i just keep 30 chinese teenagers in my basement and force them to memorize numbers
• #### My Law (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:02AM (#12968821) Journal
A person has a fixed amount of mental capability. This capability is divided into three categories:
1) Memorization
2) Logical Thinking
3) Wasted watching 'Surivor'.

The more time you spend on #1, the less you have for #2 and #3. The more on #2, the less for #1 and #3. The more on #3, the less for #1 and #2.

Note that Albert Einstein was not considered to have a super high IQ by "world changing genius" standards. But the dude could not even remember his phone number or address. Clearly he robbed #1 to get more #2.

I am not sure what this counselor's total intelligence is. But she sure wasted precious brain cells on something that is irrelevant (3.141592654 gives you the circumference of the earth to within a centimeter given its diameter), and easily looked up.

• #### Re:My Law (Score:2)

That thing about the phone number is bollocks. Even I can't remember my phone number. Anyone who wants to ring me already has my number in their phone, and I don't need to phone myself.
• #### Re:My Law (Score:2)

So... how does that make it "bollocks" that you can't remember it either?
• #### Re:My Law (Score:4, Interesting)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @12:17PM (#12969398)

But she sure wasted precious brain cells on something that is irrelevant (3.141592654 gives you the circumference of the earth to within a centimeter given its diameter), and easily looked up.

You're missing the point - this is not about doing something useful, it's about proving that it can be done by a human. For the same reason people hold sports competitions: that somebody can jump 2.40 meters high is also irrelevant per se, but it sure is an impressive thing for a human to do.

Your theory about the 3 capacities is interesting, but as it stands, it's just that: a theory. I for one think it is more likely that the brain can be trained, and through training can expand its capacity. Certainly the concentration required to memorize large numbers will be beneficial when we try to think logically.

• #### It's not a ratio ! (Score:2)

From TFA:
Huh, Pi is irrational...
• #### Re:It's not a ratio ! (Score:2)

Huh, Pi is irrational...

Not only that, but it is transcendental.

• #### Re:It's not a ratio ! (Score:3, Funny)

Not only that, but it is transcendental.

What's the resistance of a transcendental number?

Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....
• #### Re:It's not a ratio ! (Score:2)

Pi is a ratio between circumference and diameter. An irrational number is just one which can't be expressed as a ratio between two integers.
• #### Sig. Figs (Score:2, Interesting)

Ever heard of significant figures? Show me a sensor that can return values with 83,431 digits of precision!

NASA got to the moon with fewer than 12 digits of Pi...

• #### Obligatory Simpsons... (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:06AM (#12968838)
Lawyer: Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon, have you ever forgotten anything?

Apu: No. In fact, I can recite pi to 50,000 places. The last digit is 1.

Homer: Mmmm.... Pi.
• #### Re:Obligatory Simpsons... (Score:3, Funny)

I guess I'll repost my corny pi joke from high school.

In ninth grade algebra, I walk into class and the teacher had put an infinity symbol on the whiteboard.
I, being the smart ass I am says,
"Mr. Dewey, who killed eight?"
Mr. Dewey says without missing a beat,
"Pi...It's an irrational number."
• #### I can recite the first 100,000 digits... (Score:2)

...though not necesaarily in the correct order.
• #### Re:I can recite the first 100,000 digits... (Score:2)

Eh, big deal. I calculated 1/3 to over 280,000 digits (*still* no end in sight!) and can recite them all... but after that, it gets too confusing.
• #### world's 4th was on Letterman recently (Score:2)

I thought I had seen some Pi savant on Letterman, recently, but he wasn't Japanese. It was Daniel Tammet [pi-world-r...g-list.com], the world's fourth ranked. An interesting guy, and quite articulate.
• #### Well Done (Score:2, Funny)

It's a good thing we have people to do this so computers don't have to.
• #### More math genius (Score:3, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:19AM (#12968890)
Haraguchi-san recited an amazing 83,431 digits of Pi during a 13-hour overnight stretch. This more than doubles the previous record of 42,195 digits by fellow Japanese Hiroyuki Goto.

This is the math section? I love it.

• #### I want her.... (Score:3, Funny)

<david@pocketgamer. o r g> on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:24AM (#12968913) Homepage
To do my backups!

"OK, just remember this:
1001011011000101001010101000111001010100101 0010111 10100111010101011101011010101110101010111001010010 10101010111010101010101001010010001011010100101001 01010101010101010101010101010110111001110100101010 01010101010001010101010101010101101010001010110101 00011001011011101100001110101010101010101000011101 0101012..."
• #### Bah, I did better! (Score:2)

I recited 1,000,000 digits, except the guy who was keeping count fell asleep!
• #### 83,431th digits (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:28AM (#12968931) Homepage
The last digits, according to the pi searcher [angio.net], are 315921943469. Now you too can recite them -- just make up a lot of numbers in the middle and hope the judges get bored!
• #### insight to brain operation? (Score:2, Interesting)

It seems like all that data would help decode how things are stored and recalled in the brain. 83 thousand numbers is orders of magnitude longer than that would be held by the average brain. Would someone's brain who stores a long string of patternless numbers exhibit a different structure? Would the amount of blood flow during recital be significantly different than someone recalling a 7 digit phone number?
• #### Anything beyond several decimal places is useless. (Score:2, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward
See quote below:

"Conceive a sphere constructed with the earth at it center, and imagine it surface to pass through Sirius, which is 8.8 light years distant from the earth... Then imagine this enormous sphere to be so packed with microbes that in every cubic millimeter millions and millions of these diminutive animalcula are present. Now conceive these microbes to be unpacked and so distributed singly along a straight line that every two microbes are as far distant from each other as Sirius is from us.
• #### go Earth! (Score:2, Funny)

the Pi-World-Ranking-List has the rules for participation and breaks down the ranking by world, continent, and country I'm just proud that, once again, an earthling holds the #1 spot. Good thing they let your search by world. Also, the martians are really slacking.
• #### ..breaks down the ranking by world... (Score:2)

> ...breaks down the ranking by world, continent,
> and country.

So where is the list of worlds and which is #1? Surely not Earth!
• #### this is interesting. (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:38AM (#12968976)
I'm a Japanese. Once in my junior high days (7th grade for you 'mericans), I got so bored with the math class that I decided to memorize Pi on the textbook. It had something like 47 digits. It took no time and during that 45 minutes session, I memorized it. I still seem to remember it.

Curiously, the Pi World Ranking List had meny Japanese and Indian names. This is sort of understandable. Both cultures used to emphasize on memorizing texts for a long long time. Up until my grandfather's generation, being educated meant being able to recite the whole Confucius, and some other assorted Chinese classics. In my schooldays, too, we were forced to memorize bunch of stuff that turned out to be useless (pi was not one of them though :). Coming up with a mnemonic is kinda part of culture. The way I used to memorize pi was to cut it at every four digits and try to associate some kind of logic with each chunk. For example, 3.14 1592 6535 8979 3238 4626 each of four digit groups seems to have some kind of pattern, except the first one, no?

In India, too, traditional education for Brahmins started as memorizing the Veda transmitted to their family. There still are some people who can recite a whole Veda. Those people tended to memorize other stuff as well.

Probably for the Japanese and Indians, memorizing some long strings that don't make sense is not that a strange thing.

By the way, I am a Sanskritist, not a mathematician.
• #### Only 80 thousand some? (Score:2)

I can recite any random number of over 100,000 digits easily.
• #### In the Soviet Union... (Score:3, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, 2005 @10:55AM (#12969040)
Pi memorizes YOU!
• #### Japanese suffixes (Score:2)

As a Japanese scholar, I don't get why people are obsessed with adding "-san" to peoples' names. It's not English, people! You want English, use Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. or whatever!

It would be like someone talking about a German, in English, and calling them Herr [whatever]. It just doesn't make sense.
• #### this is amazing an all but... (Score:2, Insightful)

why aren't these guys using their brain for something important. my computer can calculate pi forever and much faster.
• #### MP3 (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday July 02, 2005 @11:00AM (#12969069)
Anyone have an MP3 of the event?
• #### Phi (Score:2, Funny)

Links to world rankings for memorized digits of E and Sqrt(2) are also given.
I feel slighted. ;(
• #### Got ears? this is how you do it (Score:2, Interesting)

The easy way to memorize a long number is to convert the digits into musical notes, its easier to memorize a song then a list of numbers. so 0 would be a C and 1 would be a D , ect. ect.

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