Sunday, September 28, 2008

Prime News

Seems like recently the news is all about economic woes, election, war, etc etc etc. And then this morning as I've been reading the news, I saw that the top story on CNN isn't about any of those things. It's about how mathematicians at UCLA have found a new prime number. For some reason this just tickles me -- I think it's awesome. A prime number with 13 million digits!! They used 25 computers to find it!

And it's the top news story which totally rocks.

I guess that gives me some hope. Not just that people are there are working on things like finding a new prime number (I had no idea that we didn't already know all the prime numbers!) but also that others recognize this as such a cool story. It's like how a few weeks ago it seemed everyone was abuzz with the news of the supercollider. These are such cool things -- people with a passion for science and math stretching the limits of what we know and don't know. And I just love that this ignites something in all of us, even those of us who understand next to nothing about it :)

So yay for a new prime number. Yay for people recognizing it as worthy of being a top news story.

Of course, I can't help but admit that the former SAT prep teacher in me is wondering how I could work a 13 million digit prime number into the test...

1 comment:

The Compulsive Reader said...

Haha, we talked about that for about 15 minutes in my calc class this monring. Fun stuff!