
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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20071219, 05:46  #1 
May 2007
Kansas; USA
19·541 Posts 
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 20071219 at 05:48 
20071219, 08:03  #2 
Jan 2006
Hungary
100001100_{2} Posts 
Too soon to tell
Willem. 
20071219, 17:13  #3 
A Sunny Moo
Aug 2007
USA (GMT5)
1100001101001_{2} Posts 
That's what this poll is for.
I voted that it should have a forum in the Prime Search Projects categorythe Open Projects forum, by definition, is for projects that need just relatively little computing power before they'll be wrapped upi.e. shortterm 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 20071219 at 17:15 
20071219, 19:28  #4 
Apprentice Crank
Mar 2006
2×227 Posts 
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 subforum, 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 wellestablished 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 lowweight 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 nonbase 2 sierpinski/riesel candidates, which makes it much more satisfying to solve the base 2 sierpinski/riesel problem than to solve nonbase 2 sierpinski/riesel problems. 
20071219, 21:58  #5 
May 2007
Kansas; USA
10279_{10} Posts 
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 top5000 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 longterm 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 
20071220, 14:12  #6  
Nov 2003
2^{2}×5×373 Posts 
Quote:
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"??? 

20071220, 16:18  #7 
Jun 2003
Oxford, UK
2×7×137 Posts 
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 20071220 at 16:19 
20071220, 16:52  #8 
Nov 2003
7460_{10} Posts 

20071221, 17:33  #9 
May 2007
Kansas; USA
19×541 Posts 
HAH! Nice vote Xyzzy!

20071221, 18:25  #10 
Jun 2003
1,579 Posts 
Perhaps a subforum under open projects would be the best thing. (We can make Gary the moderator of that subforum and move the threads there).
Last fiddled with by Citrix on 20071221 at 18:26 
20071221, 19:02  #11  
"Mike"
Aug 2002
1111100000110_{2} Posts 
Quote:


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