Over the past several months we have developed a new way of handling very large numbers in order to turn handling these numbers into a storage problem rather than a processing problem.

The system is now operational but we cannot get into contact with any university departments in order to check the software and tailor it to what the mathematicians need.

Could I please have some advice as to how to proceed?


Very few mathematicians work with large numbers.

OK, then do you know who these people are so I can tailor my search?

Chinese remainder theorem

No, I am not using the Chinese remainder theorem. My method is much more elegant. I am actually hunting Mersenne primes, and have found a neat way of storing the very large prime numbers for later use. I can't go into detail here because quite frankly I need the money from the uses this could be put to.

Get into contact with departments directly.

I have been on the phone/e-mail trying many diferent maths departments. None even bothered replying, so I am clearly approaching this in the wrong way which is why I have come here for advice.

The software is effectively complete, but I don't have the money to complete construction of the hardware. On top of this it would be useful to have a contact in order to tailor the software for how the mathematicians want to use it.

Edit 2:

Received a comment to the effect that since I am cagey with the details I come across as a flake. Well I can't deny that, but the problem is that if I give away enough detail to make a firm case, then whoever I give that detail to could go away and do it themselves leaving me high and dry. In the interests of transparency, I do need the money I stand to get from this so I need to meet any prospective partners in the middle.

Edit 3: I have a functioning version of the software that I can run as a demonstration without giving away how it works. What I need is for the person I am demonstrating the software for to provide with enough hard disk space to run the software up to the largest number that he/she desires.

In testing we are creating lists of Mersenne primes and checking them against GIMP list in order to validate output. With the larger bank of hardware we can get up the number line to more exciting sizes of numbers but due to the world being the way it is we cannot currently afford the hard disks.

This is why I am asking here. It would cost a pittance for universities to front the hardware that is invaluable to me.


4 Answers 4


Let me try to answer your question.

  1. It's highly likely that almost nobody wants what you have made. Above, say 20000 digits, there is little demand for integer arithmetic that I know of. The GIMP is a bit of fun for geeks, it's not serious mathematics, and nobody will pay you (except the GIMP team) for being able to find another Mersenne prime. They are way too big to do cryptography with, and also completely terrible for cryptography, as there is literally a list of them. Finding another one is of no mathematical significance.

  2. Why do you think your discovery is novel? There are current methods to work with integers of arbitrary size. Magma computes with multiplying 10000-bit numbers almost instantaneously. (The recorded time to multiply them is 0.000 seconds.) More than that (20000-bit) seems overkill for public-key cryptography. Magma uses the Schönhage-Strassen FFT-based algorithm for multiplying large numbers. Is yours better than that? And why?

  3. If you aren't willing to publish the algorithms behind your work, mathematicians will not be interested, full stop. Regardless of how good it is, any algorithm not publicly described is fake, and not to be trusted. Publication before purchase is necessary. Universities will pay for software, but mathematicians will not pay for software whose inner workings are secret. That's a hard no. Open source is not necessary -- Magma is closed source -- but it tells you which algorithms are used in every part of the code.

  • 1
    Fancy seeing you here! Say hello to Prof. Flavell for me :-)
    – Jivan Pal
    May 28, 2022 at 0:56
  • 3
    "Magma computes with multiplying 10000-bit numbers instantaneously. (The recorded time to multiply them is 0.000 seconds.)" I am sure you know that no computation is instantaneous, if only due to the finite speed of light. What that probably means is that the multiplication time is less than 0.001 seconds or 0.0005 seconds, and is either truncated or rounded to 0.000.
    – Obie 2.0
    May 28, 2022 at 2:03
  • 11
    #3 is the death knell. If you want to keep your technique a secret then it cannot be used by research mathematicians, because there would be no publicly verifiable proof that it is correct. Empirical validation (e.g. by finding Mersenne primes using your technique and comparing with a list of known Mersenne primes) is not sufficient.
    – kaya3
    May 28, 2022 at 3:06
  • @Obie2.0 Sure. I thought I wrote almost instantaneously, actually. May 28, 2022 at 19:03

Academics might work "for free" on things that advance knowledge for the public in their field of research.

You shouldn't expect them to work for free on developing your idea that you hope to make money on.

You need to hire an expert consultant it seems, not find an academic mathematician to check your work for free.

It's probably worth it to you to offer a substantial hourly rate if an hour of an expert's time will save a lot of yours.

  • Thank you for the answer. My project relies on input upfront for a payout at the end, so clearly I am looking in the wrong place here for any potential partners. Now I know this I can stop wasting my time here. If I had the money to hire the consultant I could just straight up buy the hardware I need and then publish the research. May 27, 2022 at 19:42
  • 4
    @Bearishmouse Is the hardware really so specialized that you must "construct" it? If not, renting HPC resources might be cheaper.
    – Anyon
    May 27, 2022 at 19:56
  • 17
    Speaking for myself, part of the reason that I'm in academia is that I am not entrepreneurial. I might take a contract, but I'm unlikely (for all the reasons given by commenters) to enter into a partnership where I provide professional services in hopes that I will make a lot of money somewhere down the road, especially if I'm given very little information up front.
    – Ben Bolker
    May 27, 2022 at 19:57
  • 8
    Echoing @BenBolker, I've been burned a couple times by "entrepreneurs" needing my expertise, but having no up-front money... my spending time on it... and, in the end, sending me no money at all. May 27, 2022 at 20:59

Here's one possible path to monetization:

  1. Go to America, or find a partner who is in America.
  2. Get a Software Patent.
  3. ???
  4. Sell the patent, or the products it protects, for cash.

Once you have an open, examinable, demonstrable approach, then you stand at least some chance of being able to commercialize and sell the idea.

There is no way for you to monetize the idea, without giving people something they can take apart to find out how it works, whether in hardware or software.

You cannot monetize a closed idea. As others have hinted, the overwhelming majority of ideas that lay people come up with, don't survive even the most cursory examination by specialists, in any field. Statistically speaking (and math specialists are usually pretty good at stats!), your idea is very unlikely to be different. Is it any wonder, then, that specialists are unwilling to waste time examining the claims of yet another naif who claims to have done something that the specialists could not?

Academic mathematicians get countless papers from laypeople claiming to have proven some outstanding proof or other. These people lay out every step of their logic, and expect no funding or money... and even they get ignored. Why should they waste time on someone who gives no information, and expects money?


If your method actually needs you to construct hardware, there's very little chance anybody will be interested. If you just mean assemble regular computer parts, then even if you don't have the money for that, you could rent an instance from AWS with 512GB of memory and 16TB of storage for around $6/hr. Seems like you could record a demo for not much money, which would give people a much better idea of whether it's interesting.

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