[seqfan] Re: Who named Catalan numbers?

Neil Sloane njasloane at gmail.com
Tue Feb 11 07:33:57 CET 2014


Isn't there a well-established rule that says that a theorem/lemma/formula
in mathematics must not be named after the person
who discovered it? Of course there are exceptions.
But it avoids a lot of debate!
Neil


On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 7:04 AM, Peter Luschny <peter.luschny at gmail.com>wrote:

> HWG> In my work over the past 60 years I have sometimes
> HWG> called the numbers 1, 2, 2, 5, 14, 42, ... the
> HWG> 'Euler-Fuss-Segner-Catalan' numbers, especially in
> HWG> my well-known Bibilography. But I always agreed with
> HWG> my old friends John Riordan and Leonard Carlitz that
> HWG> the single name 'Catalan' was sufficient unto the
> HWG> purpose thereof.
>
> Maybe even better then 'Euler-Fuss-Segner-Catalan' would
> be 'Euler-Fuss-Segner-Lamé'. It was Gabriel Lamé who
> proved Euler's conjecture P_{n+1}=P_{n}(4n-6)/n in 1838.
> Thus the most important relations of the Catalan numbers
> were investigated and proved before Catalan entered the scene.
>
> (See page 19 of this nice talk on the history of Catalan numbers
> which shows a paper of Catalan deriving some consequences
> from Lamé's proof:
> http://www.mathnet.or.kr/real/2010/01/OtfriedCheong(0112).pdf )
>
> HWG> but the appellation 'Cauchy-Schwartz-Bouniakovsky Inequality'
> HWG> is rather a mouthful to keep saying and so in his lectures he
> HWG> sometimes just called it 'inequality 3.19'.
>
> Certainly 'Cauchy-Schwartz' is better than 'inequality 3.19' as
> 'Catalan numbers' is better than 'A000108'.
>
> On the other hand the name 'Euler-Lamé' seems to me both
> historical appropriate and short enough to use in a lecture.
>
> Peter
>
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>
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>



-- 
Dear Friends, I have now retired from AT&T. New coordinates:

Neil J. A. Sloane, President, OEIS Foundation
11 South Adelaide Avenue, Highland Park, NJ 08904, USA.
Also Visiting Scientist, Math. Dept., Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ.
Phone: 732 828 6098; home page: http://NeilSloane.com
Email: njasloane at gmail.com


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