Edson Smith

photo of Edson Smith
Manager, Core Computing Operations
  • Digital Initiatives and Information Technology


Edson Smith is a grizzled veteran of the IT industry. He currently manages DIIT’s Core Computing Operations team, which focuses on systems, mass storage, networking and security. Additionally, in support of the Library’s dual missions of data access and preservation, he works on building cutting-edge systems for long-term digital preservation.

Prior to coming to the Library, Edson managed the Systems group for UCLA’s Hoffman2 Supercomputer. In the past, he’s worked for several UCLA departments: Mathematics, Space Sciences, Academic Computing and Academic Technology. He also did stints with RAND in Santa Monica, CA, and with Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, CA, where he was in the Space Flight Operations Center. He is a member in good standing of the League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) and the USENIX Association.

Edson is the former World Record holder (2008-2013) for leading the team that discovered the largest explicitly known prime number, 2^43112609-1. On behalf of UCLA and the GIMPS distributed computing project, he collected an award of $100,000 for this discovery.

Edson is a graduate of UCLA (BA, History), and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children. In his spare time he enjoys playing the tuba, euphonium and bass and actively pursues interests in history, genealogy, GPS-based gaming and zymurgy.

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