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Integer Sequence Review – Sloane’s birthday edition!

The Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences contains over 200,000 sequences. It contains classics, curios, thousands of derivatives entered purely for completeness’s sake, short sequences whose completion would be a huge mathematical achievement, and some entries which are just downright silly.

For a lark, David and I have decided to review some of the Encyclopedia’s sequences. We’re rating sequences on four axes: Novelty, Aesthetics, Explicability and Completeness.

CP: It’s Neil Sloane’s 75th birthday today! As a special birthday gift to him, we’re going to review some integer sequences.

DC: His birthday is 10/10, that’s pretty cool.

CP: <some quick oeis> there’s a sequence with his birthdate in it! A214742 contains 10,10,39.

DC: We can’t review that. It’s terrible.

CP: I put it to you that you have just reviewed it.

DC: Shut up.

CP: Anyway, I’ve got some birthday sequences to look at.

DC: About cake?

CP: No.

Diaconis-Mosteller approximation to the Birthday problem function.

1, 23, 88, 187, 313, 459, 622, 797, 983, 1179, 1382, 1592, 1809, 2031, 2257, 2489, 2724, 2963, 3205, 3450, 3698, 3949, 4203, 4459, 4717, 4977, 5239, 5503, 5768, 6036, 6305, 6575, 6847, 7121, 7395, 7671, 7948, 8227, 8506, 8787, 9068, 9351

OEIS contest for January AMS/MAA meeting

Top chap (and newest Aperiodipal?) Neil Sloane, founder of the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, wrote in to direct our attention towards a “best new integer sequence” contest being run on the sequence-fans mailing list.

Any sequence submitted between the middle of December and the middle of January is eligible. The winners (of which there will be at least three) will each receive a signed copy of the original 1973 Handbook of Integer Sequences, as well as the highly coveted “nice” keyword on their encyclopedia entries.

OEIS Foundation Appeal

If you’ve worked with or used any sequences of integers lately (and let’s face it, you have) you might have looked them up in the OEIS. I’ve used it twice today, and it’s still before 9.30am. As you may have gathered from our extensive banging on about it, we’re huge fans of the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.

If you have visited their site recently, you might have noticed an extra paragraph of red text near the top – yes, they’re doing a Wikipedia, and asking for their users (which is realistically everyone) to donate so they can keep going. It’s a hugely worthy cause, and here at the Aperiodical, we think it’s worth supporting. The OEIS is owned and maintained by The OEIS Foundation Inc., a nonprofit company.

Head over to the OEIS for lists of integers with various properties, and to find out more.

All Squared, Number 4: How interesting!

It’s a repeat booking for the Festival of the Spoken Nerd in number 4 (or 16 if you belong to Team All Squared) of our podcast. Standup mathematician Matt Parker joined us to talk about interesting coincidences.


Recreational Maths Seminar – Seven Staggering Sequences

Yesterday I hosted another recreational maths seminar on Google+. I had a lot of fun! We discussed the paper, Seven Staggering Sequences (PDF), by Neil Sloane. In the paper Sloane, the man behind the fantastic Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, described seven of the sequences he found most especially interesting.

The Hangout was just under an hour and a half long, and we managed to get through five of the seven sequences. Some of them are really hard to understand!

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Recreational Maths Seminar this Sunday at 7pm GMT

There was no Recreational Maths Seminar last Sunday because I had a confluence of work, family stuff and overknackeredness from MathsJam the week before. The coming weekend should be considerably less busy, so let’s have our second seminar this Sunday, the second of December, at 7pm GMT. That’s 2pm EST (New York), 11am PST(California) and 6am EDT (Eastern Australia, on the 3rd of December).