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Old 2009-05-17, 11:04   #1
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Default A prime finding formula. what do you think?

http://recursed.blogspot.com/2008/07...finds-new.html

Rutgers Graduate Student Finds New Prime-Generating Formula


Read the article + comments.
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Old 2009-05-17, 11:10   #2
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Old 2009-05-17, 16:56   #3
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There are way too many commenters there who (1) think that this method can ever be efficient at generating primes, and (2) think far too highly of Wolfram.
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Old 2009-05-17, 22:26   #4
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Cute result. Although, I don't really understand why there's a discussion on the Riemann hypothesis, etc. Rowland writes: ``the primality of p is being established essentially by trial division'' and ``It's not a magical generator of large primes'.'

The sequence it generates is Sloane's A132199. Here it is without the 1s.
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Old 2009-05-18, 05:44   #5
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I discovered a prime-generating formula similar to that, but I never bothered to publish it. The reason why most people *shouldn't* publish stuff about prime-generating formulas is that they are often times either computationally intractable or just inefficient/insufficient.

Besides, a simple prime-generating formula such as this one does not deserve nearly the amount of attention it has received. Those are my two cents....

Last fiddled with by flouran on 2009-05-18 at 05:45
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Old 2009-05-18, 06:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flouran View Post
I discovered a prime-generating formula similar to that, but I never bothered to publish it. The reason why most people *shouldn't* publish stuff about prime-generating formulas is that they are often times either computationally intractable or just inefficient/insufficient.
Oh? Just because something is computationally intractable doesn't mean it can't be used theoretically by a future mathematician. It's still of some value.

In this case, it's definitely not the author's fault that the theorem's value has been misinterpreted.
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Old 2009-05-18, 06:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougy View Post
Oh? Just because something is computationally intractable doesn't mean it can't be used theoretically by a future mathematician. It's still of some value.
Since Rowland's result is so trivial, I would think that the future mathematician whom you refer to would have figured his result out already.
Nonetheless, you make a good point.
However, I still think the result is too trivial to be published....but that's my opinion, and I think I'm entitled to it.
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Old 2009-05-18, 08:10   #8
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Indeed. It's an interesting topic as to what constitutes a paper. I've seen lots of papers with a lot less material than this one.

I find that good quality mathematicians don't have too much time to publish minor results (even though they may be of some importance somehow).
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Old 2009-05-18, 09:03   #9
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I am inclined to agree with flouran here. The trivial result is really not worth so much effort to publish in such a big way. All it needed was a small mention somewhere and anyone interested in prime formulas could easy search for them and find it.
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Old 2009-05-18, 17:21   #10
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I also agree with flouran. There are other prime-finding formulae out there, and this is just one more. And it is not an easy way to find a 100 million digit (non-Mersenne) prime. What would be nice is a fast algorithm that produced primes which got progressively larger with each iteration, so that you were quickly into the 100s of millions of digits. On second thoughts, though, it wouldn't be good, because that would mean the end of GIMPS.
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Old 2009-05-18, 21:55   #11
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Things are a bit difficult when you're a student - there's a lot of pressure to get publications and citations (which these cutesy-poo papers tend to receive). By the looks of things, he's already achieved that: [1] Benoit Cloitre, Beyond Rowland’s gcd sequence, in preparation.

At some point he might be looking for a research career and might consequently have one more publication.
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