As we approach CASP11, I’d like to share with you this story that highlights the importance of collaborative research. According to R&D Magazine News published today (http://www.rdmag.com/news/2014/01/old-mathematical-puzzle-soon-be-unraveled?et_cid=3712099&et_rid=45522766&location=top) an old mathematical puzzle attributed to Euclid may be unraveled soon. The puzzle states that there exists an infinite number of pairs of prime numbers whose difference is two (these numbers are called twin primes). Prime numbers are very useful in cryptography. They are used to ensure data security and protection in applications such as online banking and internet shopping.

In April 2013, Yitang Zhang presented a weak version of the solution by showing that there is an infinite number of pairs separated by at most 70 million. Soon after, James Maynard, a newly graduated from Oxford, reduced the gap to 600. What happened next? Hundreds of researchers have been collaborating to reduce the gap to two by submitting their research results to Polymath (the online collaborative platform that inspired us to create WeFold). According to Maynard “It is quite unusual for me since I’m used to working alone. But it’s really worthwhile to work within a community.”

Through the Polymath collaborative effort, the gap continues to decrease.

I hope to work with you soon in WeFold2!

Silvia

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