News FocusJOINT MATHEMATICS MEETING, 13–16 JANUARY, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

What Comes Next?

Science  19 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5968, pp. 943
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5968.943

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Summary

One of mathematicians' most beloved Web sites is getting ready for a makeover, it was reported at the Joint Mathematics Meetings. The Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, established by Neil Sloane at AT&T Labs Research in 1996 and run largely as a one-man shop, is poised to go "wiki," with 50 associate editors taking over much of the workload. The OEIS, or simply "Sloane" as it's known to sequence fanatics, is a database of nearly 200,000 lists of numbers—a mathematical equivalent to the FBI's voluminous fingerprint files. Much as fingerprints give police a quick way to link a new crime to earlier ones, sequences enable researchers to make connections between mathematical problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.