Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics,; University of Cambridge
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We describe the primality testing algorithms in use in some popular computer algebra systems, and give some examples where they break down in practice. 1 Introduction In recent years, fast primality testing algorithms have been a popular subject of research and some of the modern methods are now incorporated in computer algebra systems (CAS) as standard. In this review I give some details of the implementations of these algorithms and a number of examples where the algorithms prove inadequate. The algebra systems reviewed are Mathematica, Maple V, Axiom and Pari/GP. The versions we were able to use were Mathematica 2.1 for Sparc, copyright dates 1988-1992; Maple V Release 2, copyright dates 1981-1993; Axiom Release 1.2 (version of February 18, 1993); Pari/GP 1.37.3 (Sparc version, dated November 23, 1992). The tests were performed on Sparc workstations. Primality testing is a large and growing area of research. For further reading and comprehensive bibliographies, the interested re...