Project brief - [email protected] explained
Project brief (Pb) is a segment of the Gridcoin Fireside where I will be talking about scientific projects apart of the BOINC network in simple terms.
Now this isn't a lecture on formulas in number theory to find perfect cuboids on the 3-dimensional imaginary plane, it's a simple and super fun experience in learning about what's out there and what you could be supporting with just the click of a button!
Who am I?
I'm Delta! An Australian programmer, technologist, blockchain and cryptocurrency expert, and self-proclaimed physicist.
I like to communicate things to people in the simplest way possible and teach people about the most interesting things that this universe has to offer.
You can find me on Discord where I hang out in the Gridcoin chat.
What's happening this Fireside?
On August 8th I will be opening the Fireside with a short explanation of the BOINC project [email protected].
Almost every time you hop on the internet, your computer and the website you are communicating with share a specific set of numbers so that they can communicate without anyone eves-dropping. This protection uses a special type of encryption, and if it were to be broken, the internet would be thrown into chaos!
[email protected] deals with all sorts of numbers to not only keep the quality of this security in-check, but also help with a load of other problems in the world.
What is [email protected]?
[email protected] is a mathematical project that aims to solve problems in number theory through "brute forcing". One of the problems it is working on has close correlation to internet security whereas others have some real-world applications.
Brute forcing is a method used by both humans and computers when any other logical way of solving a problem hasn't worked. It basically means "check all possibilities", and when it comes to numbers, there are literally infinite possibilities!
The easiest example of brute forcing is the old-school cup tricks where a coin or other object is covered by two or more cups. In order to find the coin, you have to make a guess. There is no real logical way to know which one has it so the best way to do it is to lift up each one until you find it.
This goes with computer security too. If someone can guess how you got to your password, they can figure out what it is, otherwise they have to guess it until they get it (which can take a very long time).
yo[email protected] does lots and lots of guessing, but not for passwords, rather for other interesting numbers. For example, the numbers used in the generation of the encryption keys whenever you go online and browse the web.
Another good example is guessing bunches of numbers for use in a Golomb ruler. These numbers are quite special, it is simply any set of numbers where for any pair of numbers, the difference (one number minus another number) is unique when compared to all the other pairs.
This has interesting applications, for example, error correction in computers and positioning of radio telescopes to maximise spacial efficiency!
Interested in trying to find the next Golomb ruler?
Don't have a good computer or want to donate your spare time?
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