Happy birthday to William Durand!

March 22, 2016, 1:59 a.m.

William Frederick Durand, who was born on March 5, 1859, and died on Aug. 9, 1958, at age 99, was a United States naval officer and pioneer in mechanical engineering, particularly in aeronautics. He joined Stanford University in 1904 and served as a professor of mechanical engineering until his retirement from academic life in 1924. Saturday, March 5, 2016, marked Durand’s 157th birthday, and I prepared the following numerical trivia as a birthday gift for him:

  1. Durand’s 157th birthday is on 3-05-2016, which can simply be expressed as 3052016. This date has a special numerical property. If 3052016 is split into 305, 2, and 016, the reverse of 016, 610, divided by 2 yields 305.
  2. Durand died 157 days after his 99th birthday, and this coincidence also makes his 157th birthday special.
  3. Further, 157 plus its reverse, 751, equals 908, and the reverse of 908 gives 809, representing Aug. 9, the day Durand died. Also, the product of the digits of 157 yields 35, which represents Durand’s birth date, March 5.
  4. If numbers 1 to 26 are assigned corresponding letters of the English alphabet (A as 1, B as 2, C as 3, etc.), the sums of the numbers assigned to the letters of “William” and “Frederick” each equals 79. Twice 79 results in 158, the number representing Durand’s next birthday on 3052017. This coincidence will make Durand’s next birthday numerically special, too.
  5. Also, if the date 3052017 (Durand’s 158th birthday) is split as 305 and 2017, 2017 is the 306th prime number. The reverse of 306, namely 603, plus 305 equals 908, the reverse of which is 809, again representing Aug. 9, the day Durand died. Wow!
  6. Note that the rightmost three digits of Durand’s birth year (1859) coincide with the reverse of the rightmost three digits of his death year (1958). Moreover, 859 plus 958 equals 23 times 79 (William or Frederick). These two primes also add up to 102, which, interestingly, equals one-third of 306. Furthermore, 1958 (the year Durand died) equals 2 times 11 times 89 (1958), and these same three prime numbers also add up to 102.
  7. The digits of 158 (twice 79, which represents William Frederick) coincide with three of the four digits of both 1859 and 1958. Also, 1859 equals 11 times 169, and these two numbers differ by 158. Also, the prime factors of 1859 (11, 13 and 13) add up to 37, and the 37th prime number is Durand’s recent birthday number 157.
  8. Durand’s 159th birthday is to occur in 2018, and 2018 equals twice the sum of 158 (twice William Frederick) and its reverse, namely 851. Additionally, 159 equals 3 times 53, and 53 interpreted as 5-3 in day-month calendar date format corresponds to Durand’s birth date, March 5.
  9. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Durand equals 62, and 62 plus its reverse, namely 26, is 88. Durand’s birth date, March 5, can be expressed as 3-5, or simply as 35, and 35 plus its reverse, namely 53, also equals 88. Also, half of the sum of 79 (William or Frederick) and its reverse, namely 97, equals 88.
  10. Lastly, 2016 also marks the 58th anniversary of Durand’s death where 58 coincides with the rightmost two digits of 1958 and 158.

Happy 157th birthday to William Durand!

– Aziz Inan

Contact Aziz Inan at ainan ‘at’ up.edu.

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