The Gordon Lecture Series presents a discussion about the Catalan numbers.

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The Gordon Lecture Series welcomes Alissa Crans, professor of mathematics at Loyola Marymount University, presenting “A Surreptitious Sequence: The Catalan Numbers.”

Many of us may be familiar with famous sequences of numbers such as the odd numbers 1, 3, 5, 7,…; perfect squares 1, 4, 9, 16, 25,…; the Fibonacci sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,…; or the triangular numbers 1, 3, 6, 10, 15,… But what about the sequence 1, 1, 2, 5, 14,…? First described by Euler in the 1700s and made famous by Belgian mathematician Eugene Catalan 100 years later, these “Catalan numbers” take on a variety of different guises as they provide the solution to numerous problems throughout mathematics.


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