• You Know You’re a Geek When …

    You know you’re a geek when you have favorite integer sequence. My favorite integer sequence begins

    1, 11, 21, 1211, 111221, …

    I learned about this sequence almost 20 years ago. Perhaps then it was obscure. Today it is pretty famous, though not as famous as some sequences.

    In my relative youth I could not deduce the pattern, and I contacted the author of the book in which I found it for help (which he provided). I wonder if I could figure out the pattern today, if I didn’t already know it. Can you figure it out?

    Below are several hints. If you don’t want a hint, stop reading. Later you can come back and get one or several hints, as you wish. On Monday I’ll explain the pattern and elaborate on what makes this an interesting sequence.


    Hint 1. The rule that governs the sequence also governs the following sequence: 22, 22, 22, 22, 22, …

    Not ready for the next hint? If so, stop reading.


    Hint 2. The rule that governs the sequence is not algebraic.

    Not ready for the next hint? If so, stop reading.


    Hint 3. This sequence is called the “look and say” sequence.

    Not ready for the next hint? If so, stop reading.


    Hint 4. Want another hint? Can’t wait until Monday? Send me a message.

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