On Dec 31, 1:16 am, DrMajorBob <btre...@austin.rr.com> wrote:
> This is a little like those idiotic SAT and GRE questions that ask "What's > the next number in the following series?"... where any number will do. > Test writers don't seem to know there's an interpolating polynomial (for > instance) to fit the given series with ANY next element.
Explanations in terms of epicycles may be mathematically adequate in a narrow sense, but an explanation in terms of a single principle applied repeatedly is to be preferred in science. The ability to recognize such a principle is important.
And my mathematical logician son (who's looking over my shoulder) directed me to http://www.research.att.com/~njas/sequences/ for research on this topic. When he encounters such a sequence in his research, he finds that knowledge of a simple genesis for the sequence can lead to further insight.