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Things I Made And Did

Since you’re here reading this, you probably know that on October 30th, Matt “Friend of the Site” Parker released his book, Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension. If you’ve gone one further and read it, you might have seen the occasional reference to the website, makeanddo4d.com. If that website is the book’s DVD extras, this is the website’s extras. We’re going to peek behind the scenes and see how it all works. (Spoiler alert: the maths is powered by maths. It’s recursive maths, all the way down.)

New Mersenne primes not discovered

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, the premier distributed-computing prime finding initiative, has reported that $M_{32582657} = 2^{32,582,657}-1$, the 44th Mersenne prime to be discovered, is also the 44th Mersenne Prime in numerical order. It was found by Steven Boone and Curtis Cooper in 2006 (Cooper also discovered the current largest prime as reported here in February), but until now it was not known for certain that other, smaller primes had not been overlooked. GIMPS has now checked all the intervening Mersenne numbers for primality and having found nothing, $M_{32582657}$ is secure in its 44th-ness.

Further information

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (announcement on the front page as of November 10)

Their page for the prime itself

Mersenne Prime at Wolfram Mathworld

via @mathupdate on Twitter

Small gaps between large gaps between primes results

The big news last year was the quest to find a lower bound for the gap between pairs of large primes, started by Yitang Zhang and carried on chiefly by Terry Tao and the fresh-faced James Maynard.

Now that progress on the twin prime conjecture has slowed down, they’ve both turned their attentions toward the opposite question: what’s the biggest gap between subsequent small primes?

Primo: now a colourful, actual mathematical board game


Primo, a board game which puts the ‘fun’ in the fundamental theorem of arithmetic, has now been successfully funded via Kickstarter. In a recent blog post, the creators Katherine Cook and Daniel Finkel boast:

The game plays beautifully in play test after play test. It’s one of the most mathematically rich games we have ever seen, and at the same time avoids that icky “educational game” feel. Primo is a real game and it’s worth playing because it’s fun. Really fun.

Follow Friday, 21/03/14

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these, but here’s a selection of Twitter accounts you may wish to follow. This week, the theme is numbers!

1. Prime Numbers

While I usually try to pull out an interesting tweet to showcase the brilliance of the accounts I recommend, in this case the account is tweeting every prime number. It’s run by an automated script, which you can see the code for, and according to its bio, aims to tweet “Every prime number, eventually”. Ambitious.

Prime gaps update

There’s been some progress on the bounded gaps between primes front since we last checked in.

The Polymath8 project has got the gap down to $4,680$. But that’s small beans: James Maynard, a postgrad student at Oxford, announced at a meeting in Oberwolfach that he has got the gap down to $700$. Emmanuel Kowalski has written an effusive post on his blog singing the praises of Maynard’s achievement.

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