Landon Curt Noll

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Landon Curt Noll (a.k.a Curt Noll or Curt Landon Noll) was a high school student when he and Laura A. Nickel used California State University, Hayward's mainframe computer (a CDC Cyber 174) running their own assembly language program and found M25 in October of 1978. This brought them quite a bit of attention. Their discovery was covered by national television news and reported in the New York times on 1978-11-21. The 18 year-olds were studying number theory at the time at CSUH with Dr. Derrick Henry Lehmer of UC Berkeley and Dr. Jurca of CSUH. The computation took 7 hours, 40 minutes, 20 seconds to complete.

After finding M25, he was in contact with David Slowinski. Having revised the program, on 1979-02-09, without Nickel, he also found M26 on the same machine. He went on to be a member of the Amdahl 6. This group went on to discover other large non-Mersenne primes. At one point their largest known prime held the world record for any known prime. After his discovery of M26, he suggested to use of Fast Fourier transforms to handle the large multiplications need in Lucas-Lehmer testing of large Mersenne numbers.

He has started a fanciful search for Mersennes (on a website server), found here. In less than 2 hours, the machine tested all candidates with prime exponents up to and including M26. During that 2 hour period, it duplicated what had previously occurred over a 520 year period.