A Week-End Off: The First Extensive Number-Theoretical Computation on the ENIAC
The first extensive number-theoretical computation run on the ENIAC, is reconstructed. The problem, computing the exponent of 2 modulo a prime, was set up on the ENIAC during a week-end in July 1946 by the number-theorist D.H. Lehmer, with help from his wife Emma and John Mauchly. Important aspects of the ENIAC’s design are presented and the reconstruction of the implementation of the problem on the ENIAC is discussed in its salient points.
KeywordsENIAC Derrick H. Lehmer number theory Fermat’s little theorem early programming parallelism prime sieve
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