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HLF Blogs – Approximate Gaussian Elimination

This week, Katie and Paul are blogging from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum – a week-long maths conference where current young researchers in maths and computer science can meet and hear talks by top-level prize-winning researchers. For more information about the HLF, visit the Heidelberg Laureate Forum website.

One of the more technical lectures at the HLF so far was given by Daniel Spielman, on the Approximate Gaussian Elimination algorithm his research group has produced, and how it differs from traditional Gaussian Elimination. So what is Gaussian Elimination?

Pandemic – the app

BBC Pandemic app

As of Wednesday, 27th September, the BBC has launched a large-scale mass participation data gathering project called Pandemic. The aim of the project is to collect data about how people move around and interact with each other, and who they come into contact with. And they need you!

HLF Blogs – Math ⇔ Art: what is a rotogon?

This week, Katie and Paul are blogging from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum – a week-long maths conference where current young researchers in maths and computer science can meet and hear talks by top-level prize-winning researchers. For more information about the HLF, visit the Heidelberg Laureate Forum website.

Alongside this week’s Laureate Forum, there’s an art exhibition on display in the nearby Old University building. Math ⇔ Art (Math is Art, Art is Math) is a collection of computer-generated artworks by Italian astrophysicist Aldo Spizzichino. In addition to a long career in research and many publications, Spizzichino has also produced an impressive quantity of mathematical art.

Using Fortran to generate computer graphics, Spizzichino has explored many mathematical shapes, structures and ideas through visual representation. The exhibit invites visitors to enjoy the mathematical forms for their own intrinsic beauty and, in Spizzichino’s words, ‘to complete the work with their own interpretation’.

Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2017

This week our roving reporters Katie and Paul have gone on a trip to Heidelberg in Germany, where the world’s foremost undergraduate, masters, PhD and postdoc students in maths and computer science are gathering for the fifth annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum.

Carnival of Mathematics 149

The next issue of the Carnival of Mathematics, rounding up blog posts from the month of August, and compiled by Mel, is now online at Just Maths.

The Carnival rounds up maths blog posts from all over the internet, including some from our own Aperiodical. See our Carnival of Mathematics page for more information.

919444¹⁰⁴⁸⁵⁷⁶ + 1 is prime

Distributed internet prime number search PrimeGrid has found a new largest generalised Fermat prime.

The discovery was made on 29th August, and was double-checked before being announced on 2nd September. PrimeGrid uses a distributed computing approach and uses spare computer time donated by volunteer computers connected to their network.

A generalised Fermat prime is a prime number of the form $a^{2^n} + 1$, with $a \gt 0$. It’s called ‘generalised’ because ‘Fermat prime’ is the name for the particular case $a=2$.

Much like Mersenne primes, there are special tests which make it much easier to check if a number of this form is prime than for a general number. For this reason, they’re a good place to look for new large primes.

Until now only 392 generalised Fermat primes had been found: this new discovery makes 393. At 6,253,210 digits long, it’s now the 12th largest of all known primes, and the second-largest known non-Mersenne prime.

PrimeGrid have put out an announcement in PDF format giving some more details about the search, and credits for the many people involved writing algorithms and providing computers to run them on.

The PrimeGrid homepage has more information about the many different prime number searches they run, and how to join in the search with your own PC.

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