Integer sequences

This is rather cool, in a very math-geeky sort of way. A site with a searchable database of integer sequences.

All those number sequences with the “what’s the next number in this series?” questions? There’s probably an answer there.

The frightening thing is, there are probably lots and lots of answers there, for each individual sequence. Even for the number sequences which have an ‘obvious’ next number, there are apparently tons of other numbers that could fit the same sequence. Some of them have very complex, or wacky, rules and mathematical conditions behind them, but they’re there, and are real.

The next number on 2, 4, 6, 8, … can indeed be 10, but can also be 14, 12, 27, 1, 6, and quite a lot more

This really brings home the point that all those “what’s the next number?” questions don’t say much about anyone’s mathematical grasp. Certainly not if those tests only compare against the “right” answer. There are simply too many right answers, and many more possible reasons.

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