My April “Let’s Play Math” newsletter went out early this morning to everyone who signed up for Tabletop Academy Press math updates. This month’s issue celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Farey Sequence.
The Farey Sequence was described in 1816 by English geologist John Farey, who was disparaged by the famous mathematical snob* G.H. Hardy as “at the best an indifferent mathematician.”
“I rather like the idea that the Farey Sequences are named after someone who noticed a pattern and asked a question — and not even the first person to notice the pattern, ask the question, or provide the answer. As math teachers, we teach plenty of indifferent mathematicians who wake up when they experience the joy of discovering something that is new to them, not necessarily new to the whole world.”
— Debra K. Borkovitz,
Farey Fraction Visual Patterns
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* See A Mathematician’s Apology Revisited by W.W. Sawyer.