Math team solves the unsolvable E8 | Tech News on ZDNet: "Project leaders said that the work is important for several reasons. First, it brought together 18 math professors who typically work alone, in a landmark project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Second, that large-scale computing factored heavily into solving the equation means that other difficult and long-standing math problems could be understood this way. And the work might lead to new discoveries in mathematics and physics. "
This is Big Math writ large. There are lots of big hard problems that are only big and hard because they require so much calculation that it would takes hundreds of people thousands of years to work though. With Moore's Law holding up as well as it it, we'll be solving more of these types of problems.