Coffee & Viz: Collatz Conjecture

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021
12:00pm to 5:00pm

Add to Calendar 12/01/2021 12:00 12/01/2021 17:00 Coffee & Viz: Collatz Conjecture

Visit the Visualization Studio during Exam Wellness Week to relax and reflect on the Collatz conjecture through an immersive audio and visual experience.

The Collatz conjecture is a mathematical speculation that is said to be unsolvable. Introduced by Lothar Collatz in 1937, it is also known as the “3n + 1 problem.”

The conjecture states: 

  • Start from any positive integer, n.
  • If n is even divide by 2, if n is odd multiply by 3 and add 1. 
  • Continuing this sequence will always end in 1, regardless of which positive integer is chosen initially.

The conjecture is considered “dangerous” because it is notorious for absorbing massive amounts of time from both amateur and professional mathematicians alike, seeking to find a proof. Although it has not been proven, it has been confirmed by computer for all starting values up to 268 ≈ 2.95×1020.

This immersive visualization was created by Trevor Thornton, an applications developer in the Libraries’ Digital Library Initiatives department. In addition to making up interesting things to do in our visualization spaces, he also builds and maintains systems to support Special Collections.

This program is free and open to the public. There is no set duration. Drop in anytime between 12pm - 5pm and stay for as long as you want.

Visualization Studio

Where

Event Description

Visit the Visualization Studio during Exam Wellness Week to relax and reflect on the Collatz conjecture through an immersive audio and visual experience.

The Collatz conjecture is a mathematical speculation that is said to be unsolvable. Introduced by Lothar Collatz in 1937, it is also known as the “3n + 1 problem.”

The conjecture states: 

  • Start from any positive integer, n.
  • If n is even divide by 2, if n is odd multiply by 3 and add 1. 
  • Continuing this sequence will always end in 1, regardless of which positive integer is chosen initially.

The conjecture is considered “dangerous” because it is notorious for absorbing massive amounts of time from both amateur and professional mathematicians alike, seeking to find a proof. Although it has not been proven, it has been confirmed by computer for all starting values up to 268 ≈ 2.95×1020.

This immersive visualization was created by Trevor Thornton, an applications developer in the Libraries’ Digital Library Initiatives department. In addition to making up interesting things to do in our visualization spaces, he also builds and maintains systems to support Special Collections.

This program is free and open to the public. There is no set duration. Drop in anytime between 12pm - 5pm and stay for as long as you want.

Contact Information

Hannah Rainey

Accessibility

If assistive technology, live captioning, or other accommodations would improve your experience at this event, please contact us. We encourage you to contact us early about this to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

Visualization of Collatz Conjecture by Lovasoa available through Wikimedia Commons

Visualization of Collatz Conjecture by Lovasoa available through Wikimedia Commons