Author Archives: Brent

About Brent

Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Hendrix College. Functional programmer, mathematician, teacher, pianist, follower of Jesus.

Four formats for Fermat

In my previous post I mentioned Fermat’s Little Theorem, a beautiful, fundamental result in number theory that underlies lots of things like public-key cryptography and primality testing. (It’s called “little” to distinguish it from his (in)famous Last Theorem.) There are … Continue reading

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New baby, and primality testing

I have neglected writing on this blog for a while, and here is why: Yes, there is a new small human in my house! So I won’t be writing here regularly for the near future, but do hope to still … Continue reading

Posted in meta, number theory, primes | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

From primitive roots to Euclid’s orchard

Commenter Snowball pointed out the similarity between Euclid’s Orchard… …and this picture of primitive roots I made a year ago: At first I didn’t see the connection, but Snowball was absolutely right. Once I understood it, I made this little … Continue reading

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A few words about PWW #20

A couple commenters quickly figured out what my previous post without words was about. The dots making up the image are at integer grid points , with the center at . There is a dot at if and only if … Continue reading

Posted in pattern, pictures, posts without words | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Post without words #20

Image | Posted on | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The curious powers of 1 + sqrt 2: recurrences

In my previous post, we found an answer to the question: What’s the 99th digit to the right of the decimal point in the decimal expansion of ? However, the solution depended on having the clever idea to add . … Continue reading

Posted in number theory, puzzles | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

The curious powers of 1 + sqrt 2: a clever solution

Recall that we are trying to answer the question: What’s the 99th digit to the right of the decimal point in the decimal expansion of ? In my previous post, we computed for some small and conjectured that the answer … Continue reading

Posted in number theory, puzzles | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments