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View Poll Results: Is the conjectures project worth a new sub forum?
Yes 1,729 52.89%
Maybe, maybe not. 1,458 44.60%
No 81 2.48%
What in the world are conjectures? :-) 1 0.03%
Voters: 3269. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2007-12-19, 05:46   #1
gd_barnes
 
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Default Poll for new conjectures prime search effort

We have started a new Prime Search effort in the 'Other Stuff Open Projects' forum called "Conjectures 'R Us" here.

What we are doing is coordinating an effort to prove as many of the Sierpinski and Riesel conjectures as possible for bases 2 to 32 that are not currently being worked on by other projects. Please see the forum for additional information.

We are taking a poll: Do you feel that the project is worth its own sub forum and that the prime search cateory is appropriate?

Come vote and let your voice be heard!


Thank you,
Gary

Last fiddled with by gd_barnes on 2007-12-19 at 05:48
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Old 2007-12-19, 08:03   #2
Siemelink
 
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Too soon to tell

Willem.
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Old 2007-12-19, 17:13   #3
mdettweiler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siemelink View Post
Too soon to tell

Willem.
That's what this poll is for.

I voted that it should have a forum in the Prime Search Projects category--the Open Projects forum, by definition, is for projects that need just relatively little computing power before they'll be wrapped up--i.e. short-term distributed projects. From the looks of it, this project's hardly that. It's going to take a lot of computing power, and probably a long time too, to prove all those conjectures, so I would definitely say that it deserves a more fitting place than the open projects forum.

Last fiddled with by mdettweiler on 2007-12-19 at 17:15
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Old 2007-12-19, 19:28   #4
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It's too soon to tell. The project is less than a week old.

A while ago, Jasong started a mini project to sieve and eventually search for 10M digit primes: http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=6514 Although it was interesting enough to bring in a few participants and 200 posts, it never got its own forum, and the project has not had any activity since August.

Also, it's uncertain whether this project can grow big enough to have its own sub-forum, since it lacks the following:

1.) Fame and/or glory. There is virtually no possibility that the project can find the largest prime or the largest prime of a specific form (twin, cullen, generalized fermat, etc).

2.) Less work. Why search for base 9, base 26, or base 30 primes if you can search for base 2 primes that are larger and take a shorter time to test? Sure, there are some exceptions (bases 4, 8 and 16) but they are only a small minority of the project, which goes to base 31.

3.) Uniqueness. There is already a well-established sierpinski/riesel project (and a forum for it) for people who don't want to search for base 2 primes but still want to prove a conjecture and enjoy searching low-weight k's.

4.) Financial incentive. The few people who search primes mainly for the money will join GIMPS, not this project.

5.) Tradition. There is a 50+ year history of mathematicians trying to find the lowest Sierpinski number for base 2: http://sierpinski.insider.com/4847_history The same cannot be said for non-base 2 sierpinski/riesel candidates, which makes it much more satisfying to solve the base 2 sierpinski/riesel problem than to solve non-base 2 sierpinski/riesel problems.
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Old 2007-12-19, 21:58   #5
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I thought I should clarify a little bit here. We are not asking if it is worthy as an 'official prime search project'. And by that I mean, one that is defined as such on the top-5000 site. Clearly it's too soon for that. We are simply asking if it is worthy of it's own sub forum here at mersenneforum. In other words, is there a reasonable possibility that it could generate plenty of long-term interest such that it would become a big problem to maintain in the other projects forum? I think that is a very real possibility and is why I started this poll.

Maybe it wasn't clear in the project desciption but we have no intention of limiting it to only bases <= 32 in the future. Certainly 'filling in the holes' for bases <=32 is the intial push but I'm not one to limit the scope of such efforts. If people are solely concerned about testing times, then we can focus on bases that are powers of 2 as high as we want to take the bases.

I have another poll started in the project forum that asks what direction people feel the effort should take. Anyone who sees this is free to vote in that one also. It is not a public poll like this one is.


Gary
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Old 2007-12-20, 14:12   #6
R.D. Silverman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd_barnes View Post
What we are doing is coordinating an effort to prove as many of the Sierpinski and Riesel conjectures as possible for bases 2 to 32 that are not currently being worked on by other projects.


Why? What's the point? There are plenty of active projects already.
Why not contribute to one of them.

What does this new project give? I can't imagine that it will be of
much interest to number theorists.

I see this as another instance of the "instant gratification generation".

The older projects require EFFORT to obtain their results. Any new
project will achieve quick results by picking off the "low hanging fruit".
Then of course, it will be abandoned and something new started again.
I have see this happen many times.

I remind people that the reward and satisfaction that comes from
obtaining a result increases with the difficulty of finding that result.

Didn't your mother ever tell you "finish what you start before starting
something else"???
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Old 2007-12-20, 16:18   #7
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I rather like the fact that projects get started, die down, and then a new person or group of people take it up again.

There is theoretical interest in this particular topic, enough to generate two papers, yet to be published. There is not a lot more to say about Sierpinski base 2 (other than proving the particular k value is the lowest Sierpinski). There are really interesting aspects to looking at other bases, and these have led to some interesting discussions on what a Sierpinski number really is. (what should you include or exclude in the definition, quite vexing and perplexing).

I can't think what is wrong with picking low fruit, it is often quite tasty.

Last fiddled with by robert44444uk on 2007-12-20 at 16:19
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Old 2007-12-20, 16:52   #8
R.D. Silverman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert44444uk View Post

I can't think what is wrong with picking low fruit, it is often quite tasty.
Because it is too EASY.
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Old 2007-12-21, 17:33   #9
gd_barnes
 
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HAH! Nice vote Xyzzy!
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Old 2007-12-21, 18:25   #10
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Perhaps a sub-forum under open projects would be the best thing. (We can make Gary the moderator of that sub-forum and move the threads there).

Last fiddled with by Citrix on 2007-12-21 at 18:26
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Old 2007-12-21, 19:02   #11
Xyzzy
 
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Quote:
Perhaps a sub-forum under open projects would be the best thing. (We can make Gary the moderator of that sub-forum and move the threads there).
That might be a good idea, and when/if his project achieves critical mass moving it to a more prominent place would be easy.
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