The Mathematical Tripos examinations, and the Wranglers who achieve honours in them, are the topic of the *That’s Maths* column ( TM023 ) in the* Irish Times* this week.

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## Archive for June, 2013

### Amazing Normal Numbers

Published June 21, 2013 Occasional ClosedTags: Number Theory, Recreational Maths

For any randomly chosen decimal number, we might expect that all the digits, 0, 1 , … , 9, occur with equal frequency. Likewise, digit pairs such as 21 or 59 or 83 should all be equally likely to crop up. Similarly for triplets of digits. Indeed, the probability of finding any finite string of digits should depend only on its length. And, sooner or later, we should find any string. That’s “normal”!

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With Bloomsday looming, it is time to re-Joyce. We reflect on some properties of a large number occurring in *Ulysses*.

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This week, *That’s Maths* in the *Irish Times* ( TM022 ) reports on two exciting recent breakthroughs in prime number theory.

The mathematics we study at school gives the impression that all the big questions have been answered: most of what we learn has been known for centuries, and new developments are nowhere in evidence. In fact, research in maths has never been more intensive and advances are made on a regular basis.