Geek Alert-Prime Numbers

The largest prime number has now been discovered by researchers in Missouri as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search project, better known as GIMPS. The number? 22 million digits long–5 million digits longer than the previous one!

  • 22,000,000 minutes equals about 42 years.
  • 22,000,000 miles equals about 883.5 times around the earth.
  • 22,000,000 ounces equals about 137.5 elephants

What’s the purpose of this large of a prime number?  Practically speaking, nothing. But this geek is quite impressed.

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To read more, visit: http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/20/10797052/biggest-prime-number-gimps-missouri

(H/T Ethan)

Welcome back!

Photo Credit: CAS

It’s wonderful to have everyone back on campus! It feels like our Michigan winter has just started.  A couple of quick announcements.

  • We have moved our V-BAL meetings to Tuesdays from 2:30-3:30. Our first meeting of the semester will be tomorrow.
  • A hearty welcome to Mark Berardi who will begin his PhD coursework with us at MSU. If you didn’t get the chance to watch the cool video he put together to announce his acceptance, check it out!
  • The deadline for abstract submissions for the upcoming MSHA conference in Grand Rapids is coming up on February 1st. We would like every V-BAL lab member to participate in some way. This will give you valuable experience presenting research in a smaller, less intimidating venue. If you don’t have an idea, talk with Drs. Simone, Pasquale, or Hunter–there is still time!