John Selfridge

John Lewis Selfridge ( born February 17, 1927 in Ketchikan, Alaska, † October 31, 2010, DeKalb, Illinois) was an American mathematician who worked on algorithmic number theory, analytic number theory and combinatorics.

Selfridge received his doctorate in 1958 at the University of California, Los Angeles in Theodore Motzkin (On finite semi- groups). From 1971 he was professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign and then at Northern Illinois University. In 1991 he retired.

In 1962, he was the first Sierpiński Number: 78557, one of the after Waclaw Sierpinski (1960 ) an infinite number of such numbers. Selfridge conjectured by Sierpinski in 1967 and that the number found by him is the smallest Sierpinski number, a still open " Sierpinski " problem, which is, however, addressed in a 's Distributed - Computing Project (Seventeen or Bust ) ( end of 2009 were still six cases open). In 1967, he improved the Lucas test with John Brillhart and 1975 he published a new primality test with Derrick Lehmer and Brillhart. Regardless of Gary L. Miller and Michael O. Rabin in 1974 he found the Miller - Rabin test. With Brillhart, Lehmer, Samuel Wagstaff and others, he was at the Cunningham project involved ( factorization of numbers of the form ± 1 for certain what was published in tables).

Selfridge published several times with Paul Erdős.

1978 to 1986 he was editor of Mathematical Reviews. He is co-founder of the Number Theory Foundation, a US-based Society for the Promotion of number theory. It awards an honor Selfridge named after him prize, which is awarded on the Algorithmic Number Theory Symposium ( ANTS ) every two years since 1994.