* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sequences

Sequences

In the Real World

Looking for patterns in sequences of numbers can be something you do because it's fun, or it can be something you do to get better at finding patterns in other contexts.

Being able to recognize and describe patterns is helpful in almost every area of thought imaginable. To support that statement, here's a selection of wildly different examples.

Cryptology

To decipher the encrypted message

WKH IRA OLNHV WR HDW WKH GXFNV

it's useful to recognize that the pattern WKH occurs twice. There aren't many three-letter words that would occur twice in that short of a message.

Solar Energy

A thirteen year old kid made a breakthrough in solar power by recognizing an occurrence of the Fibonacci sequence in nature.

Poetry

To determine whether a poem is a haiku, sonnet, limerick, or something else, you need to recognize what pattern it follows. If you write a good geeky haiku, you can win stuff.

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement