An India-born American teenager has set a record by memorizing 10,980 digits of 'pi', the ratio of circumference of a circle to its diameter. The previous North American record was set up by a 27-year-old who recited 10,625 digits of the non-ending decimal.
15-year-old Gaurav Raja, an 11th grader of Salem High School in Virginia, has reserved ninth position in the world, by reciting the digits in the value of pi at two numbers per second for one hour, 14 minutes and 28 seconds.
The world record belongs to Hiroyuki Goto of Japan by memorizing 42,195 digits. Raja, who wants to be a video-game programmer said, "I know what the numbers are, but it is not like I can see them. I just know what they are."
"I found a Web site that had the records, and I decided, 'Let us try to get a ranking on here,'' he said, referring to the Web site www.pi-world-ranking-list.com.
The encouragement for his attempt came when his math and science teacher Linda Gooding asked her students to memorize 40 digits of the pi, the non-ending decimal more accurately expressed as a fraction 22/7. Raja decided to step further by memorizing about 250 and then continuing to practice realizing that numbers just came to him easily. "I just don't know how he can do it," his father, Jogesh Raja, was quoted as saying. The parents were told by teachers in kindergarten that their child was gifted in math. Raja has his next task cut out for himself, memorizing every Nobel Prize winner. "I guess those are a bit more useful," he said.