Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sticking With Collatz

It looks like I'll be sticking with something related to the Collatz conjecture for my math research project after all. When reading about something about which I know little, which is unfortunately quite often with mathematics, I usually have to keep looking up terms within whatever I am reading, and through the term "Mersenne hailstone" on one page, I ended up on a page about Mersenne numbers, and thus, Mersenne primes. As learning about Mersenne primes in seventh grade is what initially made me think I could ever make a contribution to mathematics, I find this simultaneously amusing and inspiring. My math background is embarrassingly minimal, and I don't even know how I'll find the time this semester to pull off a publishable project, but I have a sense of adventure--it is worth trying.

And so what if number theory rarely proves useful? It is fun. It is a puzzle. And my goal, I suppose, is just to try to publish something, and to have some fun doing it. Excelsior!

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