On Convergent Sequences and Prime Numbers

Ever since Euclid first proved that there are infinitely many prime numbers, mathematicians have found ever more creative ways to prove the same result, and also various stronger theorems that imply it. Dirichlet’s Theorem, for example, states that ifm and n are relatively prime integers, then there are infinitely many prime numbers of the form mk + n for some integer k. It is also known that the sum of the reciprocals of the prime numbers diverges, that the sum

\displaystyle \sum_{\substack{p \leq n \\ p \text{ prime}}} \frac{1}{p} \sim \log(\log(n))

and that the number of prime numbers less than n is asymptotically equal to \displaystyle \frac{n}{\log(n)}. In this blog post, we will continue this proud tradition by proving that there are infinitely many prime numbers which have your phone number somewhere in their digits, and which simultaneously have a prime number of digits.

To do so, we will look at the convergence of two different sums: that of the reciprocals of the primes with a prime number of digits, and that of the reciprocals of the natural numbers which do not contain your phone number amongst their digits.…

By | May 22nd, 2016|Level: intermediate, Uncategorized|2 Comments

A Mathematics Problem from the SBITC

The Standard Bank IT Challenge (SBITC) is an annual coding competition for undergraduate and honours students in South Africa. The contest consists of two rounds: a regional event named the “heats”, and the final. In the heats, teams of up to four students each compete against other teams from the same university, and the winning team from each of the nine top-performing universities is invited to the final round in Johannesburg. Each member of the winning team wins a prize, and the winning university receives a large cash prize, but students mostly┬áparticipate for the enjoyment that is to be obtained in solving the problems, and to test their skills against a set of problems that is designed to challenge the participants.

This year, the final problem from the heats (which took place on Saturday, 16 May) was fairly mathematical in nature; or more-so than the other problems at least. Essentially, the problem asks the following:

We consider generalised Fibonacci sequences T_n which satisfy the same recurrence relation T_{n + 2} = T_{n + 1} + T_n as the Fibonacci numbers, but with the first two terms T_1 and T_2 being arbitrary positive integers.…

By | May 29th, 2015|English, Level: intermediate, Uncategorized|0 Comments