You Might Say Too Many Names for Too Many Numbers

“One problem with using nomenclature that gives credit to specific people is that you either create a winner-take-all situation or you create an ungainly string of names separated by hyphens. Also, if some hitherto unknown forerunner suddenly pops up, you suddenly have to change the name to acknowledge the newly discovered ‘winner’ “.

So writes mathematician Jim Propp. He begins his essay called “Why Names Matter” by saying:

“I just went through my lesson plan for an upcoming lecture on number-sequences and replaced the name ‘Fibonacci’ by the name ‘Hemachandra’. By the time you finish reading this essay, you’ll know why I did it, and if you’re a teacher, I hope you’ll do it too….”

The drawing above depicts Hemachandra. The drawing below does not.