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14:00 - 15:00 7 November 2013

A Grand Coding Challenge! Finding a new Largest Known Prime


Roberts 508 | Roberts Building (link Map)
Malet Place | London | WC1E 7JE | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Landon Curt Noll, Technical Leader, Data Group, Cisco Systems, Landon Curt Noll is the ‘N’ in the widely used FNV hash, and has held or co-held eight world records related to the discovery of large prime numbers. He is technical leader in Cisco’s Data Group. Knowledge of advanced mathematics is NOT required for this talk.

The quest to discover a new largest known prime has been on going for centuries. Those seeking to break the record for the largest known prime have pushed the bounds of computing. We have come a long way since 1978 when Landon's record breaking 6533-digit prime was discovered. Today's largest known prime is 17 425 170 digits long! The English name for this prime is over 451 megabytes long. Both the decimal value and the English name were computed in Cisco's Arcetri cluster, a High-Performance Computing multi-core cluster built and maintained by a UCL student, Nabil Anis, who was an intern during this CIIP internship.

How are these large primes discovered? What are some of the best ways to find a new world record-sized prime number? These and other prime questions will be explored. We will examine software and hardware based approaches and will look at code fragments and hardware machine state diagrams.


Tim Bodley-Scott
+44 (0)2076793976 | tim.bodley-scott@ucl.ac.uk


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