Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math

### Cute Numbers

```Date: 08/29/2003 at 11:47:37
From: Paul Bates
Subject: Cute Numbers

I have found two definitions of a cute number. They are

1. If a square can be cut into n squares of at the most two
different sizes, then n is called a cute number. For example, 4 and
10 are cute numbers.

and

2. A number with only 4 factors is a cute number. For example 6
{1,2,3,6}

Which is the correct definition? The second one seams more
interesting, as the first definition includes all numbers over 5.
```

```
Date: 08/29/2003 at 12:11:42
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: Cute Numbers

Hi, Paul.

I'm inclined to agree with you, up to a point. I believe that the
problem in our archives about "cute numbers" is not referring to a
generally accepted term, but just temporarily defining "cute" for the
sake of the problem. As you point out, once you have solved the
problem you realize that "cute" hardly means anything, so there is no
point in retaining the definition.

The other definition is more interesting, and even more fitting; but
I have never heard it before, and find it in only one page when I
search. So I suspect that this, too, is just one person's temporary
definition, and not something commonly agreed upon. It just happens
to be more worth keeping than the other.

So my answer is: neither is really "the correct definition"! (You
left out that possibility.) It is an undefined term, as far as
mathematicians in general are concerned.

If you have any further questions, feel free to write back.

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
High School Definitions
High School Number Theory
Middle School Definitions