CSC News

April 21, 2008

Student Paper Featured on Cover of Notices

Photo of David CoxCongratulations to David Cox, a Ph.D. student in computer science at NC State University, whose paper, “Visualizing the Sieve of Eratosthenes,” has been selected for inclusion in the May issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society, both as a feature article and the artwork for the front cover.

In his paper, Cox presented a way to visualize patterns in the factorization of numbers and explored the use of computerized visualization to further characterize the Sieve of Eratosthenes, a one-dimensional device for finding prime numbers. 

According to Bill Casselman, graphics editor for Notices, “Clues in the cover image ought to help in figuring out the origin of the parabolas Cox observes. Various other views of Cox’s factorization images will bring to light other interesting patterns, but none seem to involve deep number theory. What’s astonishing is how good the human eye is at perceiving regular patterns in a noisy background.”

Cox’s paper can be accessed at Notices' Web site.

Notices is the world’s most widely read magazine aimed at professional mathematicians. It is distributed to approximately 30,000 American Mathematical Society members, one-third of whom reside outside the United States. The publication provides opportunities for mathematicians and students of mathematics to become aware of what is going on in the field.


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