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For many years, in the computer science lab at the college where I sort of work, there was a "serious joke" written on the wall which said, with much better wording and some math to back it up, that the difference between a mathematician and an engineer is that the former was more concerned that a probabilistic primality test could inherently fail while the latter was more concerned that even a guaranteed algorithm was actually more likely to return the wrong answer because the computer was hit by a cosmic ray while it was determining if the number were prime.

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