By Aziz Inan |

Laila Lalami (born 1968, in Rabat, Morocco) is a Moroccan-American novelist and essayist [1]. She will visit University of Portland campus next week on Monday, Feb. 15 to discuss her book, "The Moor’s Account." I prepared the following numerical brainteasers as a welcome gesture for her.

1. Lalami turns 48 this year (2016) and this age is very special for her. Why? Assign numbers 1 to 26 to the letters of the English alphabet, A as 1, B as 2, C as 3, etc. What is the sum of the numbers corresponding to the letters of Lalami? Answer: 48.

2. Lalami’s new age 48 also equals half of the middle two digits of her birth year 1968, that is, 96/2.

3. Additionally, 48 equal the product of the rightmost two digits of 1968, namely 6 x 8.

4. Moreover, 48 equal twice the sum of the digits of 1968.

5. If Lalami’s birth year is split into its even- and odd-numbered digits as 16 and 98, 3 times 16 and 3 times the sum of the prime multipliers of 98, namely (2 + 7 + 7), each equals 48.

6. Furthermore, 48 is a special number because the difference of the squares of the digits of 48 yields back 48.

7. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Lalami’s birth city Rabat equals 42 and interestingly enough, 42 times 48 equal 2016, the year when Lalami turns 48.

8. The numbers assigned to the letters of Laila Lalami add up to 83 where twice the product of the digits of 83 also yields 48.

9. Lalami’s name Laila represents a palindrome number. Why? Assign numbers to the letters of Laila and put these numbers side by side, what comes out? Answer: 1219121. Note that 1219121 consists of palindrome numbers 1111 and 292 intertwined. The prime factors of the sum of 1111 and 292 are 23 and 61 where 23 plus 61 yields 84, which is the reverse of 48 (Lalami) and the difference of 23 and 61 is 38, which is the reverse of 83 (Laila Lalami).

10. By changing the order of its letters, Laila Lalami can be turned into a palindrome, e.g., LAILAMALIAL.

11. If numbers 1 to 28 are assigned to the letters of the Arabic alphabet, the numbers corresponding to the letters of Laila and Lalami each add up to 75 and 117 respectively and 75 plus 117 equals 192. Note that 192 is 4 times 48 (Lalami in English)

12. Lastly, Lalami will be visiting University of Portland on Feb. 15 which can be expressed as 2-15, or simply as 215. Interestingly enough, the prime factors of 215, namely 5 and 43, also add up to 48 (Lalami).

Welcome to University of Portland Laila Lalami and I hope you will enjoy your visit.

[1] Laila Lalami, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laila_Lalami