Blog on Math Blogs

Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Priming the Pump," Random Samples, Science, 7 December 2001, p. 2087; and "Searchers capture a champion megaprime," by Ivars Peterson. Science News, 15 December 2001, p. 372.

These two articles tell of the discovery of the largest known Mersenne prime, 213,466,917 - 1. A Mersenne prime is a prime number of the form 2p - 1, where p is prime. This discovery was made by 20-year old Michael Cameron as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), a distributed computing project. More information on GIMPS can be found at

--- Mike Breen