A Chinese college student has set a new Guiness world record by reciting almost 68,000 digits of pi, or the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle.
Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student in Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Shaanxi Province, took 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite to the 67,890th decimal place of pi without an error.
He achieved his feat on Nov. 19th last year but was only recently confirmed to be the new record holder by the Guiness headquarters in Britain.
The previous Guiness world record was set by a Japanese who recited pi to the 42,195th decimal place in 1995.
"It was Zu Chongzhi, the ancient Chinese mathematician, who discovered the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle, and Chinese should win the pi recitation contest," Lu said.
He started learning to recite pi in 2004 and spent more than 10 hours memorizing and practicing everyday during his summer college vacation last year.
Officials with Lu's university said he had a very good memory and needed only 10 minutes to memorize a 100-digit number.
Lu said he was writing a book to share his experience on improving memory. He has also started a memory training center with classmates.