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Happy Birthday to me!

March 29th, 2005

Well, today is my birthday. A gentleman never reveals his age, but it’s a perfect square[1]

fn1. And not the subject of a Beatles song

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  1. March 29th, 2005 at 12:41 | #1

    Many, many, square returns ;-D

  2. Vee
    March 29th, 2005 at 13:05 | #2

    Happy Birthday Professor

  3. March 29th, 2005 at 13:36 | #3

    Hey, you’re no square, man, you’re a finger-poppin’, hip, happenin’ daddyo!
    Happy birthday!

  4. March 29th, 2005 at 13:36 | #4

    All the best, John!

  5. March 29th, 2005 at 13:38 | #5

    Hey, you’re no square, man, you’re a finger-poppin’, hip, happenin’ daddyo!
    Happy birthday!

  6. March 29th, 2005 at 13:39 | #6

    John, please delete the duplicated message, sorry.

  7. Jason Soon
    March 29th, 2005 at 13:45 | #7

    A happy 36th birthday it is, then :-)

  8. Paul Norton
    March 29th, 2005 at 14:15 | #8

    Or maybe a well-seasoned 25, Jason!

  9. March 29th, 2005 at 14:48 | #9

    Happy Birthday to you too, Jason, ya pagan.

  10. March 29th, 2005 at 15:32 | #10

    Happy birthday John. May you grow old enough such that your beard is at least thrice as long and swarthy as it appears today. ;)

  11. Dave Ricardo
    March 29th, 2005 at 16:08 | #11

    81 years young. You should update the picture, though.

  12. March 29th, 2005 at 16:12 | #12

    Happy Birthday. Not 64? Can’t think of another square.

  13. March 29th, 2005 at 18:58 | #13

    At least you don’t look 64. Happy birthday Prof Q.

  14. wpc
    March 29th, 2005 at 19:58 | #14

    Happy Birthday

  15. March 29th, 2005 at 21:49 | #15

    81, of course. But for JQ, any age would be a perfect square, by derivation from himself.

    And, in months, all he needs is to be 3 times some other perfect square in years.

    BTW, did you know the elegant proof that a pytahogorean triple with no common factors has the hypotenuse plus or minus the even side a perfect square, and plus or minus the odd side double a perfect square? It makes a standard formula for generating pythagorean triples work.

  16. March 29th, 2005 at 23:38 | #16

    49?

    Happy Birthday :)

  17. Homer Paxton
    March 30th, 2005 at 10:02 | #17

    Is your age in original, seasonally adjusted or trend terms?

    49 is a good age to achieve this year!

  18. Rob
    March 30th, 2005 at 11:09 | #18

    Happy birthday, Quiggers! For myself, I’ve recently arrived at your nearest prime number.

  19. Katz
    March 30th, 2005 at 12:40 | #19

    A leftie blogger was Quiggin.
    Gave the Right a deserved wiggin’.
    “From triumphalist braggin’,
    You’re forever zaggin’,
    When, for pity’s sake, you should’ve been ziggin’.”

    Happy B’day JQ.

  20. Razor
    March 30th, 2005 at 12:49 | #20

    Happy Bithday, John.

    1 is a good age.

  21. March 30th, 2005 at 13:09 | #21

    A former film star was asked how he felt about hitting 80. He said he liked it, considering the alternative.

  22. March 30th, 2005 at 14:46 | #22

    Inspired by Katz:

    There was a busy blogger called Quiggin (John)
    Who urged the social democrats to keep on and on
    Till the non-left hit back
    With dextrous Biff and Thwak
    And set fire to the beard of Prof Quiggin (John).

    Happy birthday John! Keep a jug of ale nearby, it could be handy for all manner of eventualities.

  23. Jim Birch
    March 30th, 2005 at 19:23 | #23

    Cheers John I seem to have been running a a little under 6 months behind you for about that long.

  24. March 30th, 2005 at 21:27 | #24

    There was a busy blogger called Quiggin (John)

    Which I misread as “a *busty* blogger called Quiggin”. Wondered for a moment what Rafe knew that the rest of us didn’t…

    And happy birthday.

  25. March 31st, 2005 at 07:09 | #25

    Perhaps this mystery number is a prime power? In which case there’s a finite field of that size.

    And happy birthday.

  26. March 31st, 2005 at 14:25 | #26

    One of the easiest mystery numbers is 153. Working in base ten (I clearly can’t put “10″), if you start with any positive integer divisible by 3, then keep forming new numbers by summing the cubes of their digits, you will eventually stop on 153.

    The proof is left as an exercise for the reader (I like saying that – that’s Schadenfreude for you).

  27. John Quiggin
    March 31st, 2005 at 15:02 | #27

    I’ll take the 30-second challenge on this one

    1. It’s trivial that 153 is a stopping point of the process
    2. You can easily get an upper bound from the fact that 9^3<1000
    3. Brute force enumeration of cases (left as an exercise for my computer) does the rest.

  28. April 1st, 2005 at 00:37 | #28

    You left out two important things, the difference between mathematics and number crunching.

    You should have done the computer stuff yourself, not just for the glory of it but because having your nose down in the dirt means you will spot oddities, things you would miss otherwise. Therefore it’s a good habit.

    And, sheer brute calculation will make you miss any patterns etc. that would reduce or remove the brute force. You completely missed the relevance of divisibility by three; that is invariant under the iteration (which you should prove), and eliminates 2/3 of the brute force cases needing checking.

    Mathematics works best when you can apply thought to cut back on work, which is to say work at a higher level.

    In the “real world”, whatever that is, you can be tricked by the elegance of the mathematics. But the right way to use mathematical models etc. is to get you most of the way there, both reducing the work (see above) and highlighting exceptions that don’t fit. That’s how these things advance best.

    I once did a brief essay on the distinctions between art, craft, and science, mostly to clarify it all in my own mind – its first version wasn’t very readable, even for me. But I think it’s useful to remain aware of the distinctions, since they can turn out very important. (Mathematics is not a science, by the way.)

  29. James Farrell
    April 6th, 2005 at 20:53 | #29

    Belated Happy Birthday, by the way. I haven’t read the blog for a fortnight.

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