An article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Antti Karttunen karttu at
Mon Dec 17 19:00:32 CET 2001

Jon Awbrey wrote:


  | Wollust ward dem Worm gegeben,
  | Und der Cherub steht vor Gott!
  | Friedrich von Schiller, Ode "An die Freude"

  happy beethoven's birthday
  and have a joyful new year!

Warm Christmas greetings from Finland also!

To delight your souls, I offer the article that appeared in 
Nr. 107 of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (09.05.2001),
as faithfully translated to English by

To see the original Deutsch version, read:

and this "English" version is also available as:

(I fetched the article from the electronic archives of "Frankfurter
Allgemeine" (and choose "Suche", then enter "Sloane" to "Suche"
and it cost me just 1,50 euros, that is, a bit over one dollar).


Antti Karttunen

   Nature and science Frankfurt general newspaper, 09,05,2001, NR. 107,
S. N1 
   The passion of a number row collecting tank

   Data base with more than 61,000 entries/interest with mathematicians
   laymen largely 

   Some humans collect stamps, other coins, calling cards, beer covers
   or butterflies. There are hardly something, which did not become the
   object of human collecting passion, even night pots and tying lacings
   its lovers found. But for the probably most unusual collecting
   the American mathematician Neil J. A has himself. Sloane of the AT&T
   Shannon lab in Florham park/new jersey decided. He collects
   However not any arbitrary, but only such, which consist many elements
   positive whole numbers, are infinitely have and in addition according
   a firm rule developed.
   Although Sloane is probably the only collecting tank of zahlenreihen
   the world, its hobby encounters a broad interest. Thousands of
   and laymen help him for many years to constantly extend its
   In December 1963 Sloane, which was at this time still a student to
   Cornell University in Ithaca/New York, looked for information about a
   certain zahlenreihe from the graph theory. But as it also strove
   it could find nothing over it in the relevant literature. That
   it so much that he began to collect systematically zahlenreihen.
   Later its collection over 2300 rows from all ranges of mathematics,
   the natural sciences and even the mental exercise covered ten years.
   It arranged it lexically and published it as book with the title
   "A Handbook OF Integer Sequences". The book became a success, and
   humans sent to it thereupon new rows. Neil Sloane continued to
   it wrote 1995 together with Simon Plouffe of the Université you
Québec in
   Montréal the "Encyclopedia OF Integer Sequences", which was than
   as large with 5488 zahlenreihen more like its first collection.

   In the same year Sloane furnished E-Mail addresses, with which one
   make autopollings to its number row collection. The book and the
   addresses were a large success and led to an enormous tide of entries
   with new rows. One year later had already increased the collection on
   16,000 rows. Now Sloane arranged also its own InterNet side for its
   number row collection with special search functions
   ( ).
   The interest among scientists and also among laymen is enormous. Per
   for instance 2500mal his collection one accesses, which contains in
   meantime over 61,000 rows.

   The collection of Sloane resembles a well sorted department store.
   All only somehow conceivable zahlenreihen are to be found there.
   Mathematical rows like those of the prime numbers (2, 3, 5, 7,
   the quadratzahlen (0, 1, 4, 9, 16...) or the faculties (1, 1, 2, 6,
   are naturally numerously represented. In addition, Neil Sloane seized
   numbers of chemistry like the number of the different alkanes with
   n carbon atoms (1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5...) or numbers of physics like the
   number of the Feynman graphs of the order 2n (1, 3, 18, 153, 1638...)
   as well as numbers of biology like the possible secondary structures
   of a RNA molecule with n nucleotides (1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 8, 17...).

   In addition the collection contains chess problems like the number of
   the possibilities of placing n ladies in such a way on a chessboard
   with n fields that they do not threaten themselves mutually
   (1, 0, 0, 2, 10, 4, 40, 92...). To find curiosities are additional
   like the row 0, 0, 0, 0, 4, 9, 5, 1, 1, 0, 55... It results from the
   fact that one paints three, four, from the English number words one,
   two, five... all letters up to the number characters I, V, X, L, C, D
   and M. The word remainders are then interpreted as Roman numbers.

   In mystery columns and with intelligence tests question
   "as, liked, is called the next number?" a given zahlenreihe is easy
   with Sloanes collection to solve. If one enters the row 3, 1, 4, 1, 5
   for example into the search program, it offers to thirty-five
   possibilities, how the row could continue. One of the resulting rows
   would be from sequential whole numbers - beginning with the three -,
   which are separate by ones in each case. The next number would have
   to be thus unity. It could concern in addition, the decimal places of
   circle number of pi. Then the next element would have to be nine.
   Since 1998 the American mathematician even gives a special electronic
   magazine, which "journal OF Integer Sequences", out, in which
   articles over zahlenreihen appear.


   All rights reserve. (C) F.A.Z . GmbH, Frankfurt/Main

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