September 29, 2008

Will this make me thinner?

UCLA group discovers humongous prime number

LOS ANGELES - Mathematicians at UCLA have discovered a 13 million-digit prime number, a long-sought milestone that makes them eligible for a $100,000 prize.

The group found the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP. The number was verified by a different computer system running a different algorithm.

"We're delighted," said UCLA's Edson Smith, the leader of the effort. "Now we're looking for the next one, despite the odds."

It's the eighth Mersenne prime discovered at UCLA. (Read the rest at GMA News TV

OKAY, so what the hell do I know about mathematics? Zilcho, nada, pfft! So I don't quite understand what the fuss is all about. Will we be able to solve poverty now or give us the solution to cancer or AIDS? Will knowing this new prime number making me thinner or lift away 10 years off my face? Seriously, how can/will this information be used? Or is this just one of those useless facts that we need to store in our brains so we can play Trivial Pursuit?

I'm not dissing Math, okay? I just want a layman's explanation why this is such an important discovery. Yun lang pow.

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