[seqfan] Re: Who named Catalan numbers?

Christian Perfect christianperfect at gmail.com
Tue Feb 11 10:24:44 CET 2014


That would be Stigler's rule, discovered by Robert Merton.


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 6:33 AM, Neil Sloane <njasloane at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> > Seqfan Mailing list - http://list.seqfan.eu/
> >
>
>
>
> --
> 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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