January 20, 2016

Squirrels Developer Tweets 22-Million-Digit Number

Earlier this month, the Squirrels supercomputer verified the largest prime number discovered to date. The prime is unfathomably large at 22,338,618 digits. That’s a number with more than seven million commas!

To showcase just how big the number is, and of course to further programming knowledge, developer Matt Bowen created a Twitter account that is currently tweeting the number.

At a rate of one tweet every 38 seconds, the account will be tweeting for three months. Each tweet contains 100 digits, and in total, the account will send 223,386 tweets. Don’t worry, Bowen isn’t sending the tweets himself. The process is automated.

Check out @LargestPrimeNum on Twitter to see the digits.

Prime Number in Book Form

 

January 19, 2016

Squirrels Supercomputer Verifies Largest Prime Number Ever Discovered

We’re excited to announce that one of our workplace hobbies recently contributed to a monumental discovery in mathematics.

Members of our team began building a supercomputer during summer 2015 as part of our 10% program that allows employees to use 10% of every week to work on projects that help them develop professionally. The supercomputer they built is 2400 times faster than today’s average consumer system, and it’s unofficially ranked as the 182nd most powerful system in the world.

Squirrels Supercomputer

Supercomputers can be used for a number of things, but the team joined their newly created system in a coordinated global effort to find the largest prime number ever discovered—GIMPS.

Big task, right? Months of research, infrastructure enhancements and computing paid off this month when a prime number consisting of 22,338,618 digits was found. That’s a number with more than seven million commas in it. The discovery came after 31 days of non-stop computing on a University of Central Missouri computer volunteered by Dr. Curtis Cooper, a professor at the university.

After Dr. Cooper’s discovery, our supercomputer went on a 55-hour sprint to verify the largest prime number he had discovered. The number is much too large to write out, but it is mathematically represented as 274,207,281-1. Written out, the number would stretch for more than 68 miles. The discovery is included in a rare class of primes known as Mersenne primes and is the first of its kind discovered since 2013. This number is one of only 49 Mersenne primes discovered in more than 500 years.

Squirrels SupercomputerOn a normal consumer computer, the verification would have taken months, but the Squirrels system cut this time to just over two days. The risk of an error in the initial discovery is around 2 in 100, but the verification done by Squirrels on different hardware than Dr. Cooper creates an impossibly small margin of error.

The search for primes is never-ending. There will always be greater and greater primes discovered as hardware and software capabilities continue to improve. However, the technology that is developed in the search for primes can have a huge impact elsewhere, such as protein and enzyme analysis in diseases and cancers.

Our supercomputer project is central to Squirrels’ goal in education to excite students and drive them toward interests in math and science. We plan to contribute to other high-profile research projects and not just continue research with prime numbers.

Supercomputer

Other projects may include protein folding analysis to help find cures for diseases, deep learning algorithms for rapidly identifying cancerous cells in medical images and extremely detailed physics and chemical simulations to identify potential improvements in battery and other technologies.

For more detailed information and photos, read our press release.

December 22, 2015

Squirrels’ 1940s-Inspired Holiday Party Takes Flight At MAPS Air Museum

The 2015 Squirrels holiday party featured World War II-era planes, a Frank Sinatra-inspired vocalist and a museum full of snazzy-looking Squirrels employees.

Our 1940s-themed holiday party took place at MAPS Air Museum in North Canton, Ohio, on December 11. The party was held in the museum’s hangar among classic military planes and helicopters.

The Squirrels team enjoyed a night full of laughs, cocktails and entertainment, but it also used the experience as a learning opportunity. Museum guides were on hand to educate our team about each individual aircraft, World War II and relics from the time period. The MAPS Gallery of Heroes was also open for our staff to view detailed models and period items depicting the lifestyles and American history of the mid 1900s.

The Squirrels team made sure to look like it belonged in the same room as all of that American history. Employees and their significant others were dressed as aviators, first-class citizens, detectives and various other men and women of the time period. We even had a milk man.

Relive the night with us by checking out some photos below and the rest of the photos on Facebook. Huge thanks to Retro Peacock Photos for taking all of these incredible photos and making us look good.

Squirrels Holiday 1940s 1Squirrels Holiday 1940s 2Squirrels Holiday 1940s 3Squirrels Holiday 1940s 4

 

Don’t forget to check out more photos on the Squirrels Facebook!

November 19, 2015

2015 Squirrels Chili Cook-off dethrones two-time defending champion

Every November, Squirrels employees spend hours crafting their perfect chili for a chance to be the next reigning chili champion. This year, two-time champ Jon Z. handed the trophy off to a fellow Jon—Jon B. The winning chili, “1-800-THREEMEATBLING,” was a mix of ground beef, chorizo, steak, red and green pepper, onion and more.

“I wanted to make a chili as spicy as Drake’s dance moves,” Jon B. said. “There’s not much of my chili left in there, so that’s pretty good.”

1-800-THREEMEATBLING

Ashley S. came in second with her rendition of chili appropriately titled “Chipotle.”

“’Chipotle’ paid homage to the smoky heat that is chipotle chili peppers,” she said.

Marinated in Southern Tier Warlock, the beef chili gave the fast food chain a run for its money.

The chili cook-off, now in its third year, saw nine submissions. Chiles of all types were submitted—from sans beans and meatless to Mexican-inspired and multi-meat dishes. Some who didn’t enter the chili cook-off added to the fun with supporting dishes and sweets—cornbread, pumpkin pie and puppy chow to name a few.

Pumpkin Pie

As we digest today, we’re already looking forward to next year’s cook-off.

Jon Bishop Winner