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Swedish teen tackles centuries-old numbers challenge

David Landes · 28 May 2009, 07:49

Published: 28 May 2009 07:49 GMT+02:00

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Mohamed Altoumaimi, who moved with his family to Sweden six years ago, is a first year student at the Falu Frigymnasium high school in Falun in central Sweden.

Long interested in mathematics, Altoumaimi has spent the last four months toiling over his notebook in an attempt to write a formula to explain a number of complex relationships dealing with Bernoulli numbers.

The numbers are named for the 17th century Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli and consist of a sequence of rational numbers which are important for number theory.

Needless to say, Altoumaimi’s teachers were more than sceptical when he showed up to school recently claiming he had come up with a formula all on his own.

“When I first presented it to my teachers, none of them believed that the formula I had written down really worked,” he told the Falu Kuriren newspaper.

Undeterred by the doubts of his teachers, Altoumaimi decided to contact a professor at Uppsala University in hopes of validating his work.

“Right away he wanted to take a look at all my calculations and the documents where I show that the formula really works,” said Altoumaimi.

While it's not the first time that someone has shown such Bernoulli number relationships, it's highly unusual for a first year high school student to make his way through the complicated calculations, according to Uppsala University senior maths lecturer Lars-Åke Lindahl.

"He's a very clever guy," Lindahl told The Local.

"What he did isn't necessarily new, but it is quite remarkable for a first year high school student to take on these types of problems all on his own. It's certainly an achievement."

Lindahl verified Altoumaimi's formula and proof before contacting his teachers to tell them what a gifted student he was.

"We're going to keep our eye on him," said Lindahl, adding that he told Altoumaimi he is welcome to come study at Uppsala University upon completing high school.

In addition, Lindahl has offered to provide books and tutoring to Altoumaimi in order to ensure he continues to develop his maths skills.

"I think he's likely beyond being able to get the kind of help he needs from high school math teachers," said Lindahl.

Story continues below…

Altoumaimi’s high school plans to take advantage of the teenager’s skills with numbers next autumn by having him serve as an instructor for several math teachers in Falun and explain his work to them.

“It’s really exciting, now all the teachers have come and congratulated me,” he told the newspaper.

Otherwise, Altoumaimi plans to continue studying advanced math and physics over the summer.

“I wanted to be a researcher in physics or mathematics; I really like those subjects. But I have to get better at English and social science,” he told Falu-Kuriren.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:49 May 28, 2009 by MBELTAGY
This is an example shows that Sweden gets benefits from the immigrants. The immigrants are not bad people as some people try to prove. The people are the same everywhere and all have cons and pros. I'm sure that if Sweden and other countries do not have clear benefits from the immigrants, they will not allow them and attract them to come.
09:34 May 28, 2009 by Mini
Exactly right. Sweden is the most racist country on the planet. It doesn't matter how much education you have, the Swedish person will get the job before you do
09:40 May 28, 2009 by Omaro
Congratulations Mohammed, I feel proud for hearing this. Maybe this will change some of the preoccupied racist ideas about Iraqi immigrants.
09:56 May 28, 2009 by Kooritze
Well done Mohammed! Good to see some positive news on immigrants on this site.
09:58 May 28, 2009 by Staffs
Yes, there are huge benefits to immigration for the global bankers and mega corporates, which is why the politicians of the West have been bought and paid for so they will push the multi-culturalism agenda.

So, the natives receive lower wages due to wage pressure and the local culture is eroded and diminished which in turn reduces the opposition to these policies.

It is a beautiful virtuous circle for the bankers and corporates, for the 99% of the population it is a complete disaster, a vicious circle.

Multi-culturalism has been incredibly successful, in that the goal is to divide and weaken, despite what the politicians tell you.
10:08 May 28, 2009 by Mini
It is good to have immigrants to blame for any stupid decisions and poor R&D policies such as those at Volvo and Saab. I am sure it was the immigrants fault that the developers at those companies had a brain freeze.

Maybe immigrants are to blame for the financial crisis?

Ha ha ha
10:08 May 28, 2009 by Inletwatcher
10:18 May 28, 2009 by 7
what an excellent story. and indeed a shining example of how immigrants can enrich a society.

the complexity of mathematical problems boggles the mind and it's the crux of so many elevated sciences. personally, i hated math because i just don't get it, but i get that there are people out there who not only are able to conceive such structures, but are able to apply it to "everyday" things which are a benefit to all of us.

way to go mohamed.
10:39 May 28, 2009 by Emfa
Jävla invandrare !!! He should be deported.

Where are those other people who always advance here on TheLocal that refugees are useless?

I hope this kid gets the support he really needs. From the article, I see how the "Jante Lagen" played in the brains of his teachers: he contacted himself the professors at UU.

The way these professors handled the thing shows the beauty of Sweden: if the kid was in a fully corrupt country, his formulas would be attributed to another person (more connected).
10:44 May 28, 2009 by elniko
bad bad immigrant....how dare you. to crack a three hundred year old math puzzle....shame on you .....and you only leave here six years...Who do you think you are?
10:46 May 28, 2009 by 7
oh please. i wouldn't have believed a student would have cracked a 300 year old mathematical puzzle either. and there's few high school teachers who would be able to examine and evaluate his calculations anyway.
10:54 May 28, 2009 by Kind Man
Finally positive news about Immigrants!

Unfortunately westerns always try to show the negatives sides.


Well Done Mohammad! keep the hard work and find more formula :) Oh i forgot to tell you guys that Iraqi and Palestinian are very smart when it comes to mathematics.
10:58 May 28, 2009 by tigger007

he's a NOT an immigrant anymore he's a swede now! since he cracked this code he moved up from immigrant to a swede status i just had a great idea,what if all immigrants crack a code then there will be no more immigrants in sweden!! life would be grand and u know swedes they like to claim their own, GOOD JOB! keep up the good work!!
11:01 May 28, 2009 by 7
do you mean in general or are you referring to this story? i don't see anything negative here.
11:02 May 28, 2009 by Miss Kitten
Yep. And I wonder how many people know that it was the Arabs who invented algebra (curse them)?
11:04 May 28, 2009 by Miss Kitten
I believe what you're describing is discrimination, not racism. There is a difference.
11:07 May 28, 2009 by spy

Give him a stick-on ponytail and put him in charge of Swedens finances - it would make a cracking story if nothing else!!
11:10 May 28, 2009 by Inletwatcher
LOL Spy... NOW that was funny!

11:30 May 28, 2009 by Andy Dyer
*** HOAX ALERT **** The Bernouilli numbers are not a puzzle needing to be "solved", they're a mathematical tool. The kid is probably brilliant and deserves fast-tracking towards a prestigious career, but his achievement has been hugely exaggerated for political reasons.

Moreover, capturing such talent to serve our tribe is guaranteed to impoverish millions of his tribe. It's colonization of the most criticized kind.

Furthermore, if this lad's triumph leads to more immigration of non-integrating incomers, then Swedish society will suffer - women in particular are likely to find their entire environment changed for the worse. Let's get a grip.
11:30 May 28, 2009 by Kaethar
And here I was hoping that this would be a positive thread without any Sweden-bashing. Bugger off.
12:09 May 28, 2009 by ooh456
Sweden: Wow I never expected immigrants could be so smart. We're gonna give you a full scholarship to Uppsala University.

Mohammed: LOL. Are you kidding? I'm going to study at MIT, Stanford , Oxford, or Cambridge where I can be around other smart people. L8rs.
12:16 May 28, 2009 by 7
he didn't get a "full scholarship" to uppsala university. he got an invitation of early acceptance. i'd say it was well-deserved with regard to the complexity of the math he is capable of.
12:38 May 28, 2009 by Basrah1954
Great story. It proves that even Iraqis have a brain. Unfortunately this is only true after they leave Iraq! One thing too, Mohammed please stay away from relgion, any religion for that matter.
13:05 May 28, 2009 by wetback
Iraqis are a different race?
13:11 May 28, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
There is no need for scholarships in Sweden since there are no tuition fees...
13:50 May 28, 2009 by martell
I am impressed. Seriously.

What has happened to the political correctness of Swedish media? Normally, the ethnic background of people never is mentioned. What is the reason that in this case the ethnical background is so important that the reader is informed about it?
14:05 May 28, 2009 by marbund1
Well done Mohamed!

Don't take any notice of the blonde racists, they never finished school and would not understand your achievement even if it bit them on the bum!

You will give heart to all like me doing mathematics components of courses.
14:46 May 28, 2009 by eZee.se
Heck! If he was back home I'm sure _someone_ would have thought he would be more useful with a bomb strapped on his back than looking at silly numbers... after all, theres only ONE book a person needs to follow, right?

Congrats young fella, hope you get your 72 virgins without needing to blow yourself up... instead by rocking maths and physics

Work with the infidels instead of killing them, now THERES a concept!
15:05 May 28, 2009 by moh
thats true martell

but i guess the reason is that the media realized the level of negativity towards refugees is quite high and thought of writing something good about them

congrats mohamed
15:24 May 28, 2009 by DidiE
This is really cool.

Now I have to find out what exactly Bernoulli numbers do. I have the same confusion about the Fibonacci pattern. I know what they are, how they function up to a certain level and then I get waaaaay lost. Same thing with the Golden Mean. I know it helps understand music theory, but then I get lost again. This kid has my full approval for simply sticking with this stuff, because I can only take three steps before I stop, all brain activity dead.
15:33 May 28, 2009 by DenMT
Wow - some of you people are freaking scary. Take for example Andy Dyer, who says:

"Furthermore, if this lad's triumph leads to more immigration of non-integrating incomers, then Swedish society will suffer - women in particular are likely to find their entire environment changed for the worse. Let's get a grip."

Translation - 'all very well, good job old boy, etc. But lets talk about immigration for a second. At the end of the day, he is from a culture I find undesirable.'

Especially like the way you refer to our 'tribe' - I assume you are a native Swede? Otherwise you just come across as (more of) an elitist racist dude.

Anyways, despite all the negativity, what a cool story. Doogie Howser-type kid. Makes me want to watch that crappy 'Numbers' show again.

15:38 May 28, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
And the joke soars over Bender's head like a 747.
15:46 May 28, 2009 by 7
it's over my head too...perhaps a more modest 727?
15:49 May 28, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
You have been in Sweden far too long. Come home and eat nutter butters and raisinets at once.
15:55 May 28, 2009 by 7
will be happy to. however, must know what i'm missing to assist in my deprogramming.
16:54 May 28, 2009 by Querist
"A 16-year-old Iraqi immigrant living in central Sweden has discovered a formula that has stumped mathematicians for 300 hundred years..."

See? Instead of memorizing the Koran - this bright young man applied his intellect to greater endeavors.

You go Mohamed.

17:42 May 28, 2009 by shahidbutt
after reading all the comments i have reach a point that this is humans nature that he try to avoid that thing which more excellent than he and start a lobby against him. well he is a young brilliant student and he must be polished as UU professor say. about immagrant i can only say this government policy it has some good effects and some bad too but government repent to do that other sweden will run short of labour in coming 5 to 10 years
17:49 May 28, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
Not laughing is not the same as not getting the joke...
19:08 May 28, 2009 by jmk
Thanks Andy for the hoax alert. Indeed it appears that the boy's achievement has been hugely exaggerated for political reasons.

It seems that an earlier version of TheLocal's article claimed that he "figured out a formula that has challenged great mathematicial minds for 300 hundred years". This sounds like he solved a puzzle that nobody has been able to solve for 300 years. (Never mind the "300 hundred".)

What really happened is that he re-discovered a formula that is already well-known, and was discovered in 1883. So the formula is not new, and in fact much more efficient formulae for the Bernoulli numbers are already known.

Surely he is a clever guy to re-discover such a formula, but TheLocal's enthusiasm went off the absurdity scale.
20:09 May 28, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
:nudges Bender lightly in the ribs:

That's right. Far be it from a Swede to correct someone.
20:42 May 28, 2009 by anila
Ezee. se, let me clarify, meeting 72 virgins, is not a Quran fact..its a hollywood spice mix!!

and Andy..why is it so difficult you to accept a good thing done by a smart kid?...and you think Iraqis are dangerous to women here?...

these kind of comments are far more dangerous than anything else

learn to appreciate people without thinking about their race..its not so difficult!!
20:53 May 28, 2009 by mkvgtired
Martell, if he had stoned his sister to death for disgracing his family he is a "youth". If he formulates a complex mathematical formula then he is a Swedish Iraqi immigrant. See the difference?
23:07 May 28, 2009 by Omaro
Anila> there are some swedes that can not appreciate ppl without looking to their hair color or skin, they are living in out dated history.
00:58 May 29, 2009 by Kaethar
Tell that to Josef Fares, Nyamko Sabuni, Wonna I de Jong, Modhir Ahmed, etc. None of these people were born in Sweden and did not spend the beginning of their lives here. If they can make it what's the problem? Main hindrance is lack of contacts, but Mohamed now has some.
10:23 May 29, 2009 by made in america
What is really pathetic and tragic is that almost all of these posts are being used as a tool to : promote ,defend or exacerbate the immigration situation.

Why cannot the immigrants get past the fact that he is an immigrant and just use this discussion board to applaud a "young man who mastered a Bernoulli formula" ?

Why do you have to rape this young man's glory and bend the issue to your own uses?

Nowhere in the discussion do i see stated the percentage of student's his age who can do this. No celebration or congratulations, nor dreaming of how this could enrich or impede his life's happiness.

Forget African, Caucasian, Asian, Alien,...etc.

Is the competitiveness and the self proclaim of glory (whether for a nation, religion , culture or tribe) , so important that you would pillage this students happiness for your own perverted , twisted and selfish reasons?

Take your immigration issues somewhere else!
10:52 May 29, 2009 by 7
it is indeed tragic that immigration becomes a "thing" rather than a matter of course.

however, unfortunately sweden has serious failures with regards to immigration and integration. it stems primarily from a lack of experience and it isn't sweden's fault, but it is sweden's problem. also unfortunately, these serious discussions are impossible to have on a public forum like this where the most vocal are usually just spewing out propaganda or talk-show one-liners.
11:20 May 29, 2009 by Omaro
I also encourage him in the future to move to the US, USA is the best country in the world that appreciate geniuses and it is true, everybody knows that.
11:26 May 29, 2009 by 7
well. i'll give you that the US is better at recognizing and rewarding talent, but like all upsides there are downsides. i hope this kid pursues his interests wherever it takes him
11:30 May 29, 2009 by DidiE
Made in America says

Take your immigration issues somewhere else!

You just joined today. Umm, you do know the majority of posters from Sweden who post here are, well, immigrants, right? From my side, I am delighted that someone, immigrant or not, succeeded in bringing attention to a mathematical puzzle. Who knows, maybe there is a key to solving the energy crisis or cancer somewhere within it. (I still am not sure exactly what Bernoulli is, but I'm working on finding some Numbers for Eejits pages to help explain.) But I also take a bit of pride that this bright young man came from outside Sweden, because he raises the awareness among native Swedes that the outsiders have a lot to offer our chosen new country, as well. I see this as only a good thing, and his being an immigrant is a plus.
11:45 May 29, 2009 by idialogue
Come out from bias wording. HE IS NOT SWEDISH TEEN , HE IS AN IRAQI TEEN.

Wow what a tragedy if a person do the bad thing you label it Arab-- Muslim- when he do the good things you take away the credit.


I would write the heading like " Muslim Teen solved Centuries old........."

But i dare you would not write it like this and take away the reality .because you are afraid and scare..

He did not take the privilage of so called swedish system....
11:54 May 29, 2009 by 7
well, that is indeed a wording problem. since, he is a teen...let's give him that. but while he might be iraqi (probably still a citizen of iraq) he's a swedish immigrant. if i read a headline saying "iraqi teen" i'd presume he lived in iraq. perhaps the headline could read, 'teen in sweden.'

see, that's the problem. people shouldn't get labeled even when it's "positive" especially not in a headline. the information can come in the context of the article as it did here. we all know he came to sweden 6 years ago from iraq. personally, i find it more of a victory since he probably suffered for much of his childhood (the insecurity of all the craziness going on around him) and only 6 years into a totally new language and alphabet. kudos to him.

it's a good story and we need more of them.
11:55 May 29, 2009 by SmartDad
Is it truly such a poor show that Sweden puts on for immigrants .. Is Sweden really a racist country?

I remember when I first visited Sweden 9 years ago I could hardly find another black face .. But it didn't phase me. I currently work from home and my Partner is white Swedish...

Now we plan to move to Sweden in a few months with the Family 2 young children .. BUT NOW I fear for the reception that my children will receive.

Why can't we just live as one?
12:02 May 29, 2009 by DidiE
Hey, how about just...Smart kid reminds world that math is important?

Somebody should track this young man down, show him all the posts, and ask HIM how he wants the world to describe him. Jeez. It's just a cool little story, no need to go ballistic, right? SmartDad, I would think you will find people in Sweden much like they are everywhere else. Some great, some so-so, and a few with their heads up orifices. If you really are worried, and you're coming from a really different type society, like the US, then come here for a visit first. Check out the dagis situation, see what a typical apartment or house in your income range looks like, find out from colleagues how much you can earn, go to a grocery store you get an idea how much it will cost to feed your bambini. While you're checking that out, your antenna will be up, and you'll get a feel for whether or not this is the right place to raise your kids. But that kind of advice and question probably deserves its own post, if you seriously are worried. Other than that, I still think this kid has done something way cool, and as a fellow immigrant Swede, good on him.
13:10 May 29, 2009 by Jasoncarter
Sod the racism in this thread, what about everyone spelling 'maths' wrong?
13:13 May 29, 2009 by DidiE
I KNEW IT! Anglicist!
13:22 May 29, 2009 by Miss Kitten
Hey now, there will be no ethnocentrism in this thread! You Brits can continue to add an unnecessary 's' onto the word "math" and we Americans can continue to spell and pronounce it "incorrectly."

Now keep this thread on topic, goddammit!
14:03 May 29, 2009 by Frobobbles
The 'solution' that took this guy 4 months to come up with is just a reformulation of a formula you will find on wikipedia! The Uppsala professor said he had done a good job, but obviously lacked in knowledge about this, and that he needs to study more. This is all silly and embarrasing, and the press has been fooled yet again.
14:19 May 29, 2009 by 7
The 'solution' that took this guy 4 months to come up with is just a reformulation of a formula you will find on wikipedia! [/quote]could you reformulate the wikipedia formula?

considering he's in his first year at gymnasium...is anyone surprised? the same university extended an early invitation as they see he has worthy potential.

are you jealous your math(s) skills don't add up?
14:39 May 29, 2009 by charltz
I wouldn't want to be seen as a naysayer! ..who opts to see only the grey side of a cloud with silver linings. .yet am always appalled by the lack of balance in the way most western countries report news that border around ..'the so called developing' countries.... i am a man who believes that people can be held psychologically captive by the way words are used to describe them...Having said that, i am not glad that The local used the caption, SWEDISH TEEN tackles centuries-old numbers challenge, i bet if he had engaged in a shoot out in the street of stockholm..he would have been refered to as the son of an iraqi/immigrant. That is why I cannot agree less with some of the comments made by others on this platform
14:57 May 29, 2009 by Frobobbles
7: read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernoulli_number#Connection_with_the_Worpitzky_number

and the university did NOT extend an early invitation. Lars-Åke Lindahl of Uppsala University politely told the guy that he had done a good job, but that it is all well-known theorem and that he needs to study more. When he is big enough he is welcome to study at the university. He is no doubt a bright boy, but if he continues on the present road he will be a nadir like Elin Oxenhielm.
15:49 May 29, 2009 by Omaro
No need for early invitation, it is Sweden, everything is going slow.
15:52 May 29, 2009 by Jamtjim
x^n + y^n = z^n has no whole number solutions for n>2!

I have a truly magnificant proof but there is not space to write it here...
16:23 May 29, 2009 by mombassa
Uh, yeah, this 'Swede' suuuure looks Swedish!

Swede idiots.
16:30 May 29, 2009 by ssohara
First of all, forget the politics. Congrats to this kid. I love stories where people overcome hard times and do well. It's really nice to read a story like this vs. stories of kids mugging people or being jerks. I hope this kid has a brilliant future, and I wish him every success.

One correction BTW - it was NOT the Arabs who invented algebra, though

they were probably the ones who conveyed the texts to the Western Europeans, just like they helped W. Europeans rediscover the works of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers which the Arabs had preserved.

While algebra is a Westernization of an Arab word (as are alcohol, alchemy, etc.), the Europeans actually learned about algebra from the works of the PERSIAN mathematician Muhammed ibn

Musa al-Khowarizmi. It is pretty clear that the Persians got many of these ideas from earlier work of the Babylonians, Egyptians, Chinese, Hindus and other ancient peoples, and then made advances of their own.
16:41 May 29, 2009 by Miss Kitten
So, what does "looking" Swedish have to do with anything? The kid has Swedish citizenship and is therefore Swedish. You know, people tell me all the time how "Swedish" I look, yet I'm not even sightly Swedish. I'm 100% mongrel American because my ancestors shagged everything in Europe (apart from Swedes apparently).
16:42 May 29, 2009 by 7
excellent. you and i are on par with our math(s) skills. we both can google, (and then presumably copy and paste) however, to be able demonstrate it's something you can do regardless is another thing. or are you accusing him of falsifying his formula and his ability to defend it? i'm guessing that the uppsala professors would smell through that even if you might be fooled by it.

it seems some updating on the story has occurred. regardless, as the current story goes lindahl contacted the kid's teachers and called him a "wiz" --now that's a translation so maybe in swedish it was another word. however, it wasn't the professor patting him on the head and moving on as if he had signed an autograph.

i think everyone understands he has more studying to do. what's the "normal" math(s) curriculum for a first year gymnasium student ?
17:13 May 29, 2009 by flixoman
Except of course when x or y = 0...
17:24 May 29, 2009 by Jamtjim
But then you could argue that zero is not a number at all but rather a complete lack of quantity. However I conceed your point. Fermats theorem is usually said to involve positive integers so as to be unambiguous.:-)
22:13 May 29, 2009 by Kaethar
This seems to be a common myth to believe. If you actually read the news you would see this isn't the case.

It is what many people seem to want to believe. Which can only lead me to conclude that people want to be seen as victims. Talk about being psychologically messed-up.

He doesn't look like an ethnic Swede but Swedish is a nationality also and you don't have to look a certain way to be Swedish. You a stormfronter?
23:49 May 29, 2009 by mobings
The CHAMPION is the one who discovered, and rest all are spectators who can merely shout or clap. I beleive talent trancends all norms of religion and ethnic values.... Einstein , Newton, Alfred Nobel ,Al-Khwārizmī and now this teen(Mohamed) all are great and will be remembered.... and we know what is our contribution for theTIME we have to live in?
19:46 May 30, 2009 by Unknow2009
The formula is incorrect. Why? The combination C(k,n) may not work for negative factorial numbers because k is smaller than n. It leads how do we compute (-2)!= ?, (-3)!=? and so on. We already knew (-1/2)! = sqrt(pi).

Remind that C(k,n) = k!/(n!(k-n)!)).
20:35 May 30, 2009 by Jamtjim
Now I see what you mean. The ! was not meant to indicate factorial but rather an exclaimation. My mistake; I should have been less ambiguous.

Blimey I had no idea so many mathematicians read this forum.
20:51 May 30, 2009 by Unknow2009
It is not correct forumla.

This formula has been posted on Wikipedia, then removed after that.

I believe if the formula described in the picture of this page, then this formula is incorrect.

Bad news!
21:03 May 30, 2009 by Jamtjim
What formula are you talking about?
21:38 May 30, 2009 by Unknow2009
I am talking to the formula displayed on the blackboard in this picture, where this guy is standing, namely

Bn = Sum(i=0,n) (1/(i+1) Sum(p=0,i)( (-1)^p C(n,p) p^n))

If this is not a formula that the news has posted, then what is it?
22:31 May 30, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
It is just a matter of how C(n,k) is defined. You never see the definition of C(n.k) in the picture so likely k and n has just shifted place.
23:12 May 30, 2009 by Unknow2009
I do not know what you meant. However, the above formula (blackboard) is:

Bn = Sum(i=0,n) (1/(i+1) Sum(p=0,i)( (-1)^p C(p, n) p^n)), where

C(p,n) = p!/(n!(p-n)!).

p is smaller than n because it shifts from 0 to i, where i
23:22 May 30, 2009 by red.king
I am just thankful that I look like a Scando... I come from a country with plenty of predjudices, but nothing prepared me for the hypocracy of Sweden. I like living here, but bloody hell talk about hardcore prejudices!!And the worst thing is that many of the prejudices are unspoken and unarticulated...

Interesting article, but I think it is slightly patronising to Iraqi's and other immigrants alike. It basically says, "look, we found a clever Arab boy...."...

Some of the comments here are absolutly astounding in terms of racist content and also on the opposite side eg, the article shouldn't of mentioned he was Iraqi.... He is Iraqi and he lives in Sweden and he is making a fair go of it.... Deal with it and divert your attention to more constructive issues like removing your thumb out of your own rectum...
23:49 May 30, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
Yeah, but C(p,n) is not defined on the black board. If you define it as C(p,n) = n!/(p!(n-p)!) it becomes of the same form as the Bernoulli number defined by the Worpitzky number as you can read about in Wikipedia.
01:06 May 31, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
EDIT: Actually, unless wikipedia is incorrect he must mean C(i,p) and not C(n,p)...
16:45 May 31, 2009 by Unknow2009
It does very important the notation and its parameters must be correct. I believe the formula is correct if it lists as:

Bn = Sum(i=0,n) (1/(i+1) Sum(p=0,i)( (-1)^p C(i, p) p^n)).

Notice, C(p,n) is incorrect. C(i,p) is correct.

17:46 May 31, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
Exactly, but I'm sure that this is just an error he made when writing down the formula for the photo-op. After all, the professors in Uppsala proof-read it, and I doubt they would let a simple error like this pass...
20:45 June 1, 2009 by white_man
The kid is not Swedish. If you're not white, you're not Swedish. An Iraqi can no more be a Swede than a Swede can be an Arab. Genetics define us, not passports.
21:25 June 1, 2009 by vagabundocosmico
Well done Mohammed.

The spirit of the late Bernoulli lives within you.


Those four ardous months have started to release your hidden talents. Utilize them well my friend, for the world of mathematics and physics await you. I encourage you to become a member of the Society of Physics Students.

Take your time and enjoy life, mathematics just like life itself--is universal.

I greatly encourage CalTech, Berkeley, and MIT with great mathematic programs that will make you feel right at home.
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Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

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People-watching: October 26th
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Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

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