*(blog.stephenwolfram.com)*

## The Most-Used Mathematical Algorithm Idea in History

AnÂ octillion. A billion billion billion. Thatâ€™s a fairly conservative estimate of the number of times a cellphone or other device somewhere in the world has generated a bit using aÂ maximum-length linear-feedback shift register sequence. Itâ€™s probably the single most-used mathematical algorithm idea in history. And the main originator of this idea wasÂ Solomon Golomb, who died on May 1â€”and whom I knew for 35 years.

Solomon Golombâ€™s classic bookÂ

Shift Register Sequences, published in 1967â€”based on his work in the 1950sâ€”went out of print long ago. But its content lives on in pretty much every modern communications system. Read the specifications forÂ 3G,Â LTE,Â Wi-Fi,Â Bluetooth, or for that matterÂ GPS, and youâ€™ll find mentions of polynomials that determine the shift register sequences these systems use to encode the data they send. Solomon Golomb is the person who figured out how to construct all these polynomials.

A fantastic and pretty comprehensive obit for Sol. He did miss out on more of Sol’s youth as well as his cross-town chess rivalry with Basil Gordon when they both lived in Baltimore, but before they lived across town from each other again in Los Angeles.

Many of the fantastical seeming stories here, as well as Sol’s personality read very true to me with respect to the man I knew for almost two decades.