[seqfan] Re: Arabic Poetry Sequences

Peter Luschny peter.luschny at gmail.com
Fri Aug 30 11:49:55 CEST 2019

GR> In general, I'm personally against introducing further
non-mathematical sequences in OEIS.

A few years ago, I would have said precisely the same thing.
Then I read Charles R. Greathouse, The multi-faceted reach of
the OEIS.

It made me think. There are so many sequences in the OEIS
that are not mathematical in nature, although, expressed as
a numerical sequence, they can superficially make such an
impression. Just a couple of examples:

A080915 Number of electrons in outermost electron shell
(valence electrons) in chemical element number n.

A005960 Number of acyclic disubstituted alkanes with n
carbon atoms and distinct substituents.

A003678 Decimal expansion of the SI unit c.

A119247 Contains the ISO human tooth numbering sequence.

A115020 Alzheimer's disease test.

A175726 Age of Biblical generations from Adam to Noah according
to the Hebrew Bible.

A061745 Unicode codes for the Han digits.

A054356 The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem (author Antti Karttunen).

A038674 A finite series from the lyrics of La Farolera, a Latin
American traditional children's song.

More lyrics: http://oeis.org/wiki/The_multi-faceted_reach_of_the_OEIS#Lyrics

Certainly not with all, but with some I find that they deserve
their place in the OEIS. And that the criterion should not be
whether they come from the natural sciences; instead whether
they are connected to culture in a more general sense.

On the other hand, almost every day, I read suggestions for
sequences consisting of playful chains of symbols that comply
with rules that are far away from any mathematical content.
Sometimes I find them so absurd that I would reject them
instantly (in fact, in such cases, I often abstain from any
comment; later, I see them accepted in large numbers).

And there is a third aspect I would like to mention:
The influence poetry and rhythm had and has on mathematics
and combinatorics. I suggest the section already mentioned
by Antti, DEK, vol 4, fasc. 4.

We should be aware that these things may have more influence
in other cultures than the one we belong to. Who doesn't know
it yet I suggest the remarks of Fields Medal winner Manjul
Bhargava about the mathematics hidden in the rhythms of classical
Indian music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siFBqH-LaQQ

For these three reasons, I think that the proposed sequences
have their place in the OEIS. Provided they are accompanied
by carefully selected references and their encoding is clearly
explained. Which of course can happen on a blog page that will
be linked to, as Giovanni suggests.


More information about the SeqFan mailing list