Project #30: Number Spectra: Build a map of common irrational combinations

Invention Coach:

Eric Goff

Public Inventor(s):

Eric Goff, Robert L. Read


Often computer programmers and engineers write software which produces decimal expansions of numbers which in fact have a closed-form expression which is unknown or not observed to the programmer. An API that alerted engineers when an arbitrary 15-digit number was indeed an expansion of a simpler formula would give insights that would let engineers do a better job.


The work of Norman J Wildberger and Rob’s own experience with Mathematica on the Segmented Helix project demonstrate that many times there is in fact a closed-form expression to a generated engineering data. However, sometimes these formulae take pages and pages for Mathematica to print, and they are beyond human intelligence to simplify without tremendous effort. So Eric and Rob spent a weekend hacking together a simple system that enumerates formulae and builds a “database” of decimal expansions; it turned out to indeed be interesting to see the “spectra” of these “special” numbers. We are currently trying to map these onto a zoomable numberline and see how they relate to the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.


Highly Active

Skills Needed

Combine sophomore college-level math (analysis) with open-source management, human computer design, internet research, API design, website design