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The biggest hand calculation in a century! [π Day 2024]

Stand-up Maths2024-03-13
2K views|2 months ago
💫 Short Summary

A team in London attempts to break the world record for calculating pi by hand, facing challenges and errors but ultimately reaching over 100 digits. Utilizing a parallelizable approach and human calculators, they implement new strategies like the Hail Mary protocol to potentially reach a new milestone. Despite logistical challenges and mistakes, the team remains united and excited, showcasing the joy of collaboration and perseverance in a challenging task. The final result is meticulously tallied and verified for accuracy, with the team expressing gratitude to organizers and volunteers while looking forward to future endeavors.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Attempt to break the record for calculating pi with 527 digits.
Team in London led by Matt Parker uses a Machin-like formula with seven arctan calculations.
Previous attempts to break the record have fallen short.
Optimistic about beating the record with a parallelizable approach.
Current record set in the 1870s contained a mistake in the 528th digit.
The process of calculating arctan using a Taylor series and human calculators.
Human calculators joined the team to perform calculations manually using reference materials.
Calculators queued for a calculation, borrowed necessary tables, completed the sheet, and returned it for checking.
The pi-brary team ensured calculators had the correct tables for their division.
More mistakes occurred than expected, leading to adjustments in sending out more copies and slowing down the process.
Challenges in Error Rate Management
The team initially faced a higher error rate than expected in the project.
New strategies were implemented, such as handing out more sheets at once for verification.
Calculating arctan involved dividing the process into tiny chunks done by different individuals.
The team, including Matt, Katie, and Scroggs, managed thousands of color-coded paper pieces for meticulous long division.
Importance of verification in the calculation process.
Two independent people check calculations using mod arithmetic for accuracy.
Catching errors early on is crucial, as highlighted by a mistake made by two individuals.
Most calculations pass checks, ensuring accuracy and preventing widespread errors.
Scaling up the operation requires more people and logistical coordination, impacting efficiency.
Team working on computing Pi to break world record.
Process involves human calculators and computer processors.
Central Intelligence archive for record-keeping.
Enforcement officers ensuring all papers are accounted for.
Papers not moving fast enough as team works methodically.
Team effort in calculating digits of pi.
Team faced challenges and errors but reached over 100 digits.
Aimed for 140 digits.
Implemented Hail Mary protocol for final push.
Showcased joy of collaboration and perseverance.
Summary of the new plan for human machine evolution and processing efficiency.
The plan involves canceling sheets above digit 140 and conducting checks concurrently with the next division.
Despite faster progress, complexity of remaining trunks halted further advancements.
Effectiveness of method for future use is being considered, with final steps overseen by an independent observer.
Collapsing station meticulously tallies final terms for subtraction, with verification critical for accuracy of pi digits.
Demonstrating the reliability and predictability of mathematics through rapid calculations.
Participants showcase surprise, confusion, and confidence during the chaotic process.
A sense of accomplishment and teamwork emerges as numbers are recited and recorded.
Participants seek moral support and maintain a semi-confident attitude towards the accuracy of their calculations.
The speaker expresses gratitude to the organizing committee and volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the past two years.
Mention of the funding source for the Pi Day calculation project and encouragement for support through Patreon.
Reflection on the event includes enjoyment, emotional experience, and the surprising discovery that pi ends abruptly at 139 digits.
Despite feeling sad that the event is over, the speaker looks forward to more calculations.
Praises the supportive and passionate mathematical community present during the celebration.