The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, or GIMPS, is a collaborative project of volunteers, who use Prime 95 and MPrime, special open source software that can be downloaded from the Internet for free, in order to search for Mersenne prime numbers. The project was founded and the prime testing software was written by George Woltman. Scott Kurowski wrote the PrimeNet server that supports the research to demonstrate Entropia distributed computing software, a company he founded in 1997.
This project has been rather successful: it has found a total of 6 Mersenne primes, each of which was the largest known prime at the time of discovery. The largest known prime as of November 2003, is 220,996,011-1. This prime was discovered on 17th November 2003 by Michael Shafer, a GIMPS participant from Michigan, United States of America.
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2 See also
Mersenne primes found
Here is a list of all Mersenne primes discovered by GIMPS participants: