Laura A. Nickel

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320px-Maker_faire_2009_palo_alto_Ariel_Glenn.jpg
Source Wikimedia

Ariel T. Glenn (Laura A. Nickel) with Landon Curt Noll discovered on 1978-10-30 that 221701-1 was the 25th Mersenne prime. This made international news because Noll and Nickel were still high school students. For the verification of this number alone, the pair used almost eight hours of time running an assembly language program on a CDC Cyber 174 mainframe at California State University, East Bay. When totalled up, the efforts consumed over 4000 hours of computer time in the search, double testing M(21001) through M(24481), along with a test of M(65537) using a custom implementation of the Lucas-Lehmer test.

Ariel worked as a public key infrastructure specialist at Columbia University in New York in the mid 1990's, and later was a member of the Midnight Special Law Collective, a radical law collective.

As of early 2011 she was back living in the San Francisco Bay area and is a Software Developer for the Wikimedia Foundation, and also provides office IT support.

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