Ward Pond's SQL Server blog

Ruminating on issues pertinent to the design and development of sound databases and processes under Microsoft SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2000 (while reserving the right to vent about anything else that's on my mind)

From Dad's Bookshelf: More On Prime Numbers

From Dad's Bookshelf: More On Prime Numbers

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I'm in western Vermont until Wednesday morning, totally off the grid except for a 56K dialup connection which seems much slower.  I'm visiting my father and sister, and I found an item that follows right along with the prime number conversation we've been having here.

Since I've already finished the books I brought with me (Robert B. Parker's School Days (not the best of the Spenser series) and Keith Olbermann's The Worst Person In The World (and 202 Strong Contenders)), I checked out the bookshelves that cover a wall of Dad's living room.  I found there a copy of John Derbyshire's Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics.

Riemann was working a close relative of the problem we were working last week: can a formula be built to describe the quantity of prime numbers found between 1 and some number N?  The book is a fascinating discussion of both Riemann (the man's life and his place in mathematics) and the problem itself, which has vexed mathematicians since Riemann first posed a hypothesis in a seminal 1859 paper.

I'm currently four chapters into this book, which the Christian Science Monitor describes as, "a math book that reads like a mystery novel."  I'll need to leave it here when I depart, so I'll probably need to find a copy of my own before I can provide a full discussion, but based on the first 48 pages, I highly recommend this book.

More later in the week when I'm back in my own time zone..


  • Ward: Hope you are having a great time in the northeast, enjoying some respite. I will be up that way in a couple of weeks.

  • It's been awhile since I posted any non-technical news, and since the current non-technical news is going

  • Frequent readers of this space will recall that I'm in western Vermont visiting with family until the

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