This page replaces Turning Dates into Equations.

I’m posting an equation for every day, so I think this deserves its own page. Here’s the deal:

If you look at a date, a license plate, or any other sequence of numbers, then, if you’re geeky, you may find yourself wanting to determine most elegant equation or sequence that those numbers reflect. (If what I said makes no sense to you or seems ridiculous, you’re not a geek. If you read it and thought, I’d prefer to call that equationization, then I may quibble with your language, but you get my point.)

The idea is to take the numbers and turn it into an equation somehow. Sometimes, there’s an obvious one, like if the date is


then that yields the digits of

3, 8, 11

which you can use in the equation of

8 + 3 = 11

Sometimes there’s a pattern, like


That’s not an equation, but it is elegant.

Sometimes, there’s something else, like


being the sides of 5-12-13 right triangle. Likewise, not an equation, but still pretty good.

Sometimes, the numbers need to be broken into their component digits, like



4, 2, 9, 1, 1

so that

4 x 2 + 1 x 1 = 9

or you might only break down some of them, so that it’s

4 – 2 + 9 = 11

If you want to make an equation, there’s always some way to do it.

I used to think it was okay to specify, say,  √9 as 3 and -3, so that I could use them to cancel out a number I didn’t want to use, but now I think that’s too cheesy.

Some people like to keep things in order. For example, if you take the zip code of Mount Rushmore, you can work with it in the order of the digits:


In thes case, it’s rather obvious:

5 + 7 = (7 + 5) * 1

but maybe not for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:


which isn’t impossible, but doesn’t jump out:

1 * (7 + 3) = 2 * 5

So, that’s the idea.