TIL A FedEx employee from Tennessee has made mathematical history with the discovery of the largest known prime number. Jonathan Pace, a 51-year-old engineer living in Germantown, Tennessee, discovered the number after running a special piece of computational software for six days straight.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/05/largest-known-prime-number-discovered-by-fedex-employee.html

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  1. I’m so confused… Why is it important enough to say he works for FedEx when what he did has nothing to do with FedEx or his employment there? Or, did I miss the tie in?

  2. Only six days? That’s the wild part of the story. I would have figured the largest prime would have required a lot more computing power than that.

    EDIT: Oh wow, I just read TFA and what a sloppy choice to pull for the headline. He’s part of a distributed project all running software on their home computers. This is stuff you or I could do, about as easily as it takes to install and run Spotify.

    He may have been running the software for “six days straight” but that just means he was contributing for that amount of time. The project to discover said prime has likely been running for _far_ longer and with _a lot more computing hardware_ than he personally discovered.

    This story is such a nothingburger. This dude didn’t make history in a wild and interesting way, he installed software on his computer and donated time to a cause.

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