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Old 2016-01-26, 04:55   #1
MooMoo2
 
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Default Popularity of GIMPS

While I was talking with someone a few days ago, the topic of the new Mersenne prime discovery came up. The (paraphrased) conversation went something like this:

Him: "I read an article about some group discovering a world record size prime number. That record looks relatively easy to beat. It's one of those really rare things that only a dozen or so people in the world do, so there's a lot less competition."
Me: "That group is GIMPS, and they have thousands of people actively searching for world record size primes, not just a dozen."
Him: "Well, it's still way less than the millions of people competing for some of the more popular world records. You know, over a billion people have run the 100 meter dash at some point in their lives, and a lot of them had dreams of breaking that record at one time or another."
Me: "True, but many common things are rarer than they seem. Take flying, for instance. It seems common, but only a small percentage of the world's population has flown on a plane. Most people live in developing countries and are unlikely to have enough disposable income to spend on a plane ticket, and some rich guys have no interest in flying."
Him: "The number of people who've been involved in prime finding in any way is much less than the number of people who've flown on a plane. It might be similar to the number of people who've actually piloted a plane completely by themselves from takeoff to landing, and even then, I'm being generous."

That got me thinking, how rare are prime hunters compared to participants of other activities? Here's your chance to chip in and rank these from highest (most number of people who've done the activity) to lowest:

1.) Number of people who've ever submitted a result to GIMPS
2.) Number of people who've ever found a top 5000 prime
3.) Number of people who've ever earned over $100,000 (~ 90,000 euros) a year
4.) Number of people who've visited at least 10 countries
5.) Number of people at or over age 90
6.) Number of people who've ever skydived
7.) Number of people who've ever piloted and landed a plane
8.) Number of people who've ever been fluent in 3 or more languages
9.) Number of people who have a master's degree or higher
10.) Number of people who've ever run within 3 seconds of Usain Bolt's 100 meter record (9.58)

Bonus question: Do you think there are more than 10 people in the world who've done all of the above 10 items?

Last fiddled with by MooMoo2 on 2016-01-26 at 04:55
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Old 2016-01-26, 05:49   #2
LaurV
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There is none in the world who did all 10. Very simple deduction.
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Old 2016-01-26, 06:14   #3
Dubslow
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I would imagine 2) and 5) are the smallest two quantities.
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Old 2016-01-26, 06:17   #4
retina
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The rarest would be the 5000 top prime.
The next rare would be the 90+ year person.
All the rest are common and/or easy with enough time/motivation.
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Old 2016-01-26, 06:20   #5
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3) would be low (but not as low as others), based on looking at the mean and median incomes across various countries.
I would expect 4) to be higher in places like western Europe where there are many countries close together, and in wealthy countries where they can afford to fly regularly.
I'd guess 8) to be the largest.
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Old 2016-01-26, 09:17   #6
LaurV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
The rarest would be the 5000 top prime.
Why? Before the computer era, almost all people with a hobby for math found a "top-5000" prime by themselves. From which many are still alive.
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Old 2016-01-26, 12:08   #7
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
Why? Before the computer era, almost all people with a hobby for math found a "top-5000" prime by themselves. From which many are still alive.
I'd say there are still more people over 90 just today (ignoring the entirety of historical data) than the combined total of all people that have, or had, a top 5k prime (regardless of age).
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Old 2016-01-26, 12:33   #8
pinhodecarlos
 
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1.) Number of people who've ever submitted a result to GIMPS
2.) Number of people who've ever found a top 5000 prime
3.) Number of people who've ever earned over $100,000 (~ 90,000 euros) a year
4.) Number of people who've visited at least 10 countries
5.) Number of people at or over age 90
6.) Number of people who've ever skydived
7.) Number of people who've ever piloted and landed a plane
8.) Number of people who've ever been fluent in 3 or more languages
9.) Number of people who have a master's degree or higher
10.) Number of people who've ever run within 3 seconds of Usain Bolt's 100 meter record (9.58)

Done with 1), 2), 4), 8) and 9). 7) only on Microsoft Flight Simulator.
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Old 2016-01-26, 18:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
I would imagine 2) and 5) are the smallest two quantities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
The rarest would be the 5000 top prime.
The next rare would be the 90+ year person.
All the rest are common and/or easy with enough time/motivation.
The quantity in 5) is surprisingly large. According to http://population.io/ , there are 18 million people age 90+.
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