Ripped from the headlines…a mathematician at the University of Central Missouri recently proved that the largest to date number, 257,885,161-1, is a prime number. If you recall, prime numbers are ones that are only divisible by 1 and themselves (i.e 2, 3, 17, 57, etc).
So, who cares? Well, anyone who banks, shops or generally gives a fig about their internet privacy. You see, prime numbers have become the key to encryption of data and are thus the underpinnings of e-commerce. So the next time you buy that scarf, game or Olivia Newton-John boxed cd set from an online purveyor, tip your cap in gratitude towards math, glorious math.