Today in license plates

Today in license plates: PIB4159, seen on a Porsche driving south on Georgia 400 just north of I-285, when I was coming home from work.  Georgia license plates are three letters followed by four numbers by default, so this isn’t a vanity plate. At least I don’t think it is.  But a B does kind of look like a 3 and a 1 together… unfortunately in the wrong order to make this is a six-digit approximation of pi.

(If they’d let me, I’d get CAB1729.  People would just think it was a normal plate.). I’ve always thought that it’s not quite so impressive that Ramanujan noticed that 1729 is the sum of two cubes in two distinct ways – it’s 1000 + 729 or 1728 + 1, and both of those are easy to see by eye.

For more, you should read Knuth on mathematical vanity plates.

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5 thoughts on “Today in license plates

  1. I think the impressiveness is that Ramanujan noticed it was the SMALLEST number that could be expressed that way.

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