Tag Archives: prime numbers

Random design #22 – The Tale of Genji

54 rooms. In each room, a tale of romance, intrigue, and passion at the court of Empress Akiko. No two stories are the same. In front of each door, a unique symbol. Never twice the same either.

The book was written in the early 11th century Japan.

It wasn’t until E Bell’ series of lectures on combinatorics and prime numbers (Bell numbers)  in the early 1900s that we realized the symbols from the Tale of Genji followed the same reasoning on which graph theory, statistic, and stochastic patterns are developed.

Whether to predict a roll of dice, a political race or playing the game of love, stochastic processes have been at the core of our concern to grasp what the future has in store for us for a long long time…



Random design #21

The Ulam spiral

If we were to show graphically how prime numbers grow and expand, we’ll see an ever-expanding spiral – a Ulam spiral called after mathematician Stanislav Ulam who discovered it. I extracted my spiral pattern from Adam Freidin’s script on Observable.

That a logical progression of numbers set itself in a spiral-like shape is quite awesome. That from snail shells to Fibonacci & galaxies far far away, all are built after the shape of a spiral is mystifying. The randomness of the unexplained!