Farewell to a brilliant genius with dozen oddities

By Aziz Inan | April 2, 2018 9:02pm
Stephen Hawking. Photo courtesy of NASA StarChild/Wikimedia Commons.

Brilliant and out of the ordinary British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author Stephen William Hawking died this year on Pi Day in Cambridge, United Kingdom. He was a worldwide-known genius for his scientific work on black holes and space-time theories [1].

Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, United Kingdom and he turned 76 early this year. His funeral took place in Cambridge on March 31, 2018. In his honor and to say farewell to him, I prepared the following dozen mathematical oddities where I used the European date format Day/Month/Year for calendar dates:

  1. Hawking’s last (76th) birthday expressed as 8/01/2018 had an interesting property: its leftmost and rightmost three digits consisted of 0, 1, and 8, appearing in different orders.
  2. Further, Hawking’s 76th birthday written in short as 8/1/18 was a palindrome day.
  3. Also, if 8/1/18 is split as 8, 1, and 18, 18 equals twice the sum of 8 and 1.
  4. Moreover, if 2018 is split into 20 and 18, twice the sum of 20 and 18 equals 76.
  5. Additionally, 76 plus its reverse, namely 67, equals 143, the day Hawking died (14/3).
  6. If numbers one to 26 are assigned to the letters of the English alphabet in alphabetical order, the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Hawking equals 73 and coincidentally, Hawking died on the 73rd day of this year (14/3/2018).
  7. Furthermore, 73 is the 21st prime number and interestingly, Hawking’s full name Stephen William Hawking is made of 7 + 7 + 7 = 21 letters.
  8. Hawking’s 81st birthday in 2023 will be special because 81 interpreted as 8/1 coincides with his birth date, 8 January. Furthermore, if Hawking’s 81st birthday is expressed in short as 8/1/23, the numbers 8, 1, and 23 correspond to the letters H, A, and W, amazingly, the first three letters of Hawking.
  9. Hawking’s 85th birthday expressed as 8/1/27 consists of the first three nonzero cube numbers. Also, 85 equals the product of 17 and 5 which are the 7th and 3rd prime numbers where 7 and 3 put side by side makes 73 (Hawking). Further, the sum of the squares of 7 and 3 equals 58 which is the reverse of 85.
  10. If numbers one to 365 are assigned to the 365 days in a non-leap year (e.g., 1942) in backwards order, that is, 31 December is day one, 30 December is day two, 29 December is day three, etc., Hawking’s birth date 8 January is day 358 where twice the reverse of half of 358, namely 971, yields Hawking’s birth year, 1942. Additionally, the reverse of 358, namely 853, is the 147th prime number where 147 = 7^2 + 7^2 + 7^2 where again, the three 7’s represent the number of letters in Stephen, William, and Hawking, respectively.
  11. If Hawking’s birth date 8/1/1942 is split as 81, 19, and 42, the sum of these three numbers equals 142 which is 2 times 71 where 2 and 71 add up to 73 (Hawking).
  12. Lastly, Hawking died 65 days after his 76th birthday where coincidentally, the 65th prime number is 313, the date of his funeral (31/3).

I hope you rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.

[1] Stephen Hawking, Wikipedia


Aziz Inan is a professor of electrical engineering teaching at University of Portland and he can be reached at ainan@up.edu.