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Name: Matthew H.
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Question:
What is the fastest way to calculate the factors of a large number (above 120 digits) on a computer? I have heard of the Number Field Sieve, the Self Implementing Quadratic Sieve, and the Elliptical Curve Method.



Replies:
This is not an easy task. The book "Music of the Primes" gives a fairly readable and fascinating telling of the history of prime numbers, which is closely related to identifying factors of large numbers. The methods you mention are all part of that story but is beyond the scope of a platform such as this to go into.

Vince Calder



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