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Jun 24, 2003, 2:14:32 AM6/24/03

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This note explains the story of the so-called Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe

algorithm

and formula.

algorithm

and formula.

The story began many years ago in 1974 when I wanted to find

a formula for the n'th digit of Pi. I was studying rational and

irrational

numbers. With my calculator I was computing inverses of primes and

could

easily find a way to compute those inverses in base 10 to many digits

using

congruences and rapid exponentiation. Since it appeared impossible to

do

the same for Pi, I wanted then to find a simple formula f(n) that

could compute

the n'th digit of Pi. I had that idea for 20 years.

Since the computation of Pi looks

more complicated than the number E , i.e. exp(1), I studied a way to

compute

that number instead. At that time (around 1983), I had a simple Basic

program

that used a spigot algorithm to compute E, as expected that algorithm

worked but

of course but was taking an increasing amount of memory. My question

was :

why can't we do it for E or Pi or any irrational numbers like sqrt(2).

It was during the year 1994 that I began to compute arctan series but

I did not

realized that this meant a lot. I was able to use an algorithm to

compute arctan

of 1/5 with fast exponentiation without realizing that it could

compute arctan(1/5)

in base 5 very fast since the rapid exponentiation was natural in that

base.

Later in 1995, around august 7 of that year I suddenly realized that

log(2) was

fast computable in base 2. Since I had a bit of experience with spigot

algorithms

and also my little Basic program to compute arctan, it was not

difficult to adapt

the algorithm to log(2).

In the next few days I made my first program : A program to compute

log(9/10)

in base 10 using a very small amount of memory and very fast. The

program had

432 characters long.

That discovery was a shock to me. I realized that I had found it yes

but it was not

new to me since I could do arctan(1/5) easily too but it took me 2

years to realize it.

This is where I began to use Pari-Gp, that program could find an

integer relation

among real numbers (up to a certain precision), very fast.

During my stay at Bordeaux University in 1992-1993 I perfected that

program I had

that could interface Pari-Gp and Maple. That little Unix script had an

enormous

advantage of flexibility because I could set up a series of real

numbers to test among 1

unknown. At that time I was beginning to find new results, the

programs were able to

find identities.

That program was the one that found the formula for Pi in hexadecimal

(or binary).

I also used another one : PSLQ. It was a good program but a bit

cumbursome to use

since it is written in fortran. Nevertheless I made an interface to

Maple too.

Pari-Gp was by far easier to use and faster for small cases (up to 10

real numbers at

the time with 100 digits precision was enough for those kind of

problems).

This is where I made the biggest mistake in my life : To accept the

collaboration

of Peter Borwein and David H. Bailey as co-founders of that algorithm

and formula

when they have found nothing at all. David Bailey was not even close

to me when

I found the formula. He was added to the group 2 months after the

discovery.

I was naively thinking that I could negociate a job as professor at

Simon Fraser

University, which failed. I am very poor at negociations.

I remember that day when the Globe & Mail newspaper article went out

in October

1995. I was at Jon borwein's house and he had a copy of the newspaper

in hand.

This is where I asked him to become a professor at SFU. He simply

replied right

away < don't even think about it >. I thought, this is the best chance

I will ever have

to become a professor there, since it failed, I decided that I had to

leave that place.

I was very frustrated at that time, in late 1995 after the discovery.

I realized that

many small details where terribly wrong. They were getting a lot of

credit for the

discovery and I had the impression of not getting anything in return.

My strategy

failed. One of those details was the article of the Globe and Mail, I

asked Peter Borwein

: why did they putted the photo of you and your brother on the article

? Your brother

has nothing to do with this!. He simply replied that the Public

Relations at the

University made a mistake.

Later that year, I was invited to a ceremony in Vancouver for the CUFA

(faculty of

the year Award).

This is a prize with plaque and mention that those 2 brothers received

for the

discovery of the formula. They simply mentioned my name at the

ceremony and

I received nothing at all. They made a toast to the queen of England,

I did not

stand up.

In late 1995, there was that Canadian Math Soc. congress in Vancouver,

I was not

invited to talk about the discovery. There was even a guy (Stan Wagon)

that said

to me, I don't know if you have anything to do with this but in all

case, this is

good for you isn't ?

Then in 1996, I realized that if I get up at night to hate them it is

a very bad sign,

it means that I have to leave that place (Simon Fraser university).

I was convinced I had no future at all with those 2 guys around.

I was making serious plans to leave.

The story of the formula (my formula), was not the only one. The same

thing happened

with the ISC (the Inverse Symbolic Calculator). The story is even more

ridiculous.

I opened the site with my constants in July 1995 and it was an

immediate success.

The 2 Borweins had nothing to do with that thing, I had made the

tables and all

of the Unix programs to run it. The precious help I had was from Adam

Van Tuyl, a

graduate student, he made most of the code behind the web pages, later

Paul Irvine

made some additional code.

At that time the local administrator of the lab. tried to convince me

to stay even to pay me

for maintaining the ISC, I refused. I wanted to leave with what I had

: my tables of

real numbers and sequences I worked for years (since 1986). This is

why I opened the

Plouffe Inverter with my name in 1998, to keep what was mine.

When I realized that I was about to loose the paternity of the ISC, I

left in march 1997.

I went to Champaign Illinois to work for Wolfram and Mathematica.

(this time it took me less time), that one was worst than the 2

brothers combined. I simply

left as soon as I could, 5 months later.

Peter Borwein wanted very much that I do a Ph. D. on the ISC but he

wanted also to

publish (with his name of course) an article before I deposit the

thesis. Again the

same story was going on, these 2 guys are so greedy I can't believe

it. The behavior they

had with me was not exclusive, especially Peter Borwein he was the

same with most of

his students, especially the good ones, sucking the maximum. Jon is

the same but he

has more talent in politics (more money too). He is good but has a

tendency to site

himself a lot. He thinks that if he had the idea of the sum of 2

numbers at one point

in his life then all formulas in mathematics are his own discovery.

About David H. Bailey. He came after the discovery of the formula and

my small basic

program , I had also a fortran version. This is where Peter Borwein

suggested to add

him as a collaborator to the discovery since he contributed to it (as

he said), this is my

second big mistake. Of course he accepted to co-write the article, who

wouldn't ?!

David H. Bailey (and Ferguson) are the authors of the PSLQ program.

That program is

the <american> version of the Pari-Gp program. I used it a little it

is true, but what made

the discovery was pari-Gp and Maple interface program I had. So

actually, that person

has nothing to do with the discovery of that algorithm and very little

to do with the

finding of the formula. The mistake was mine. Saying that Bailey found

the formula

is like saying that the formula was found by the Maple and Basic

program.

I tried very hard to correct the situation avoiding the subject of the

actual discovery

of the algorithm and the formula, I made an article in 1996 for the

base 10. I thought

naively again that this would re-establish the situation, it did not.

I almost accepted

to do a film at one point in 1999 when a certain guy from England that

wanted to make a

movie on Pi and the discovery of the formula. he asked me if I would

accept to talk

about my <differents> with the Borweins. I did not wanted to go in

that direction,

I should had. There was that book of Jean-Paul Delahaye (le fascinant

nombre pi)

that mentioned the Plouffe algorithm and formula because I told him

part of the

story. In some way I was afraid of revealing that enormous story.

Why was I so naive ?

I had a previous collaboration with Neil Sloane and the Encyclopedia

of Integer Sequences

and the web site, this was really a big success and Neil is the person

I respect the most

in mathematics so this is why I thought (wrongly ) that my

collaboration with the

Borweins had to go well, a big mistake.

Why do I write this ?

To tell the truth and also the arrogance of those people makes me

sick.

Will I gain something from this ? I don't care, I have nothing to

loose.

Simon Plouffe

Montréal, le 22 juin 2003.

Jun 24, 2003, 9:22:38 PM6/24/03

to

wow. and you said,

your 5 months working for Sir David and

the Wolframites was worse !?!

your 5 months working for Sir David and

the Wolframites was worse !?!

plo...@math.uqam.ca (Simon Plouffe) wrote in message news:<dacae0fb.03062...@posting.google.com>...

> This note explains the story of the so-called Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe

> algorithm

> and formula.

--UN HYDROGEN (sic; Methanex (TM) reformanteurs) ECONOMIE?...

La Troi Phases d'Exploitation de la Protocols des Grises de Kyoto:

(FOSSILISATION [McCainanites?] (TM/sic))/

BORE/GUSH/NADIR "@" http://www.tarpley.net/aobook.htm.

Http://www.tarpley.net/bushb.htm (content partiale, below):

17 -- L'ATTEMPTER de COUP D'ETAT, 3/30/81

23 -- Le FIN d'HISTOIRE

24 -- L'ORDEUR du MONDE NOUVEAU

25 -- THYROID STORK !?!

Jun 24, 2003, 9:31:46 PM6/24/03

to

it may have been your neglect of making the toast. what ever you do,

don't let Betty Dos raise her Excalibur over your bare neck,

sir!

don't let Betty Dos raise her Excalibur over your bare neck,

sir!

plo...@math.uqam.ca (Simon Plouffe) wrote in message news:<dacae0fb.03062...@posting.google.com>...

> I went to Champaign Illinois to work for Wolfram and Mathematica.

> (this time it took me less time), that one was worst than the 2

> brothers combined. I simply

> left as soon as I could, 5 months later.

--Dec.2000 'WAND' Chairman Paul O'Neill, reelected

to Board. Newsish?

http://www.rand.org/publications/randreview/issues/rr.12.00/

http://members.tripod.com/~american_almanac

Jun 25, 2003, 5:16:39 AM6/25/03

to

A fascinating story.

Here is a re-post of Simon Plouffe's post, which seems to be poorly

formatted. I have improved the layout and corrected some minor spelling

errors. I have not corrected grammatical errors. I have no connection with

Simon Plouffe.

Clive Tooth

####################################################

From: plo...@math.uqam.ca (Simon Plouffe)

Newsgroups: sci.math,sci.math.symbolic

Subject: The story behind a formula for Pi

Date: 23 Jun 2003 23:14:32 -0700

Organization: http://groups.google.com/

Lines: 246

Message-ID: <dacae0fb.03062...@posting.google.com>

NNTP-Posting-Host: 65.94.113.232

X-Trace: posting.google.com 1056435272 10489 127.0.0.1 (24 Jun 2003 06:14:32

GMT)

NNTP-Posting-Date: 24 Jun 2003 06:14:32 GMT

####################################################

cumbersome to use since it is written in Fortran. Nevertheless I made an

interface to Maple too. Pari-Gp was by far easier to use and faster for

small cases (up to 10 real numbers at the time with 100 digits precision was

enough for those kind of problems).

This is where I made the biggest mistake in my life : To accept the

collaboration of Peter Borwein and David H. Bailey as co-founders of that

algorithm and formula when they have found nothing at all. David Bailey was

not even close to me when I found the formula. He was added to the group 2

months after the discovery.

I was naively thinking that I could negotiate a job as professor at Simon

Fraser University, which failed. I am very poor at negotiations. I remember

that day when the Globe & Mail newspaper article went out in October 1995. I

was at Jon Borwein's house and he had a copy of the newspaper in hand. This

small basic program , I had also a Fortran version. This is where Peter

Borwein suggested to add him as a collaborator to the discovery since he

contributed to it (as he said), this is my second big mistake. Of course he

accepted to co-write the article, who wouldn't ?! David H. Bailey (and

Ferguson) are the authors of the PSLQ program. That program is the

<American> version of the Pari-Gp program. I used it a little it is true,

but what made the discovery was Pari-Gp and Maple interface program I had.

So actually, that person has nothing to do with the discovery of that

algorithm and very little to do with the finding of the formula. The mistake

was mine. Saying that Bailey found the formula is like saying that the

formula was found by the Maple and Basic program.

I tried very hard to correct the situation avoiding the subject of the

actual discovery of the algorithm and the formula, I made an article in 1996

for the base 10. I thought naively again that this would re-establish the

situation, it did not. I almost accepted to do a film at one point in 1999

when a certain guy from England that wanted to make a movie on Pi and the

discovery of the formula. he asked me if I would accept to talk about my

<differents> with the Borweins. I did not wanted to go in that direction, I

should had. There was that book of Jean-Paul Delahaye (le fascinant nombre

pi) that mentioned the Plouffe algorithm and formula because I told him part

of the story. In some way I was afraid of revealing that enormous story.

Why was I so naive ? I had a previous collaboration with Neil Sloane and the

Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences and the web site, this was really a big

success and Neil is the person I respect the most in mathematics so this is

why I thought (wrongly ) that my collaboration with the Borweins had to go

well, a big mistake.

Why do I write this ? To tell the truth and also the arrogance of those

people makes me sick.

Will I gain something from this ? I don't care, I have nothing to loose.

Simon Plouffe Montréal, le 22 juin 2003.

####################################################

Jun 27, 2003, 1:08:57 PM6/27/03

to

[Note follow-ups]

In sci.math, Simon Plouffe <plo...@math.uqam.ca> wrote:

> This note explains the story of the so-called Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe

> algorithm

> and formula.

[SNIP - a tale of misattribution of a truly miraculous discovery.]

(Note - a version in French can be found in fr.sci.maths)

"The Miraculous Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe Pi Algorithm" =

Lies infuriate fellow author much... Oily rag? Pipe bomb?

Note for anagramatists who wish to find better 'grams - 'SFU', for

Simon-Frasier University, is entirely relevant, and in the above letters.

'Gram by Lardy Girl, as I couldn't get beyond "horrifying mathematical lie"

Phil

Jun 25, 2003, 5:31:35 AM6/25/03

to

Simon Plouffe wrote

> Will I gain something from this ? I don't care,

> I have nothing to loose.

Who did build Versailles castle?

Was it really Louis XIV? None of the paintings

shows him with dirty fingers.

Even if you google and find

"The architects Hardouin-Mansart and Le Notre"

you won't have the correct answer, do you?

It is a sad story you told. But at least you can

be very proud about your findings.

I am strongly reminded of Eric Weisstein's trouble

some time ago. Maths and Cleverness are very very

different as it seems. But it is possible to be

weak in maths and unclever too. I know that :-)

Rainer Rosenthal

r.ros...@web.de

Feb 27, 2016, 10:50:58 AM2/27/16

to

> This is where I made the biggest mistake in my life : To accept the

> collaboration

> of Peter Borwein and David H. Bailey as co-founders of that algorithm

> and formula

> when they have found nothing at all. David Bailey was not even close

> to me when

> I found the formula. He was added to the group 2 months after the

> discovery.

It is not the biggest mistake, it is the greatest lesson.
> collaboration

> of Peter Borwein and David H. Bailey as co-founders of that algorithm

> and formula

> when they have found nothing at all. David Bailey was not even close

> to me when

> I found the formula. He was added to the group 2 months after the

> discovery.

Your story impressed.

Anyone, who really interested in this discovery, will read your articles.

Thank you for your amazing researches!

Feb 28, 2016, 4:46:57 AM2/28/16

to

nicko....@gmail.com schrieb:

> From: Simon Plouffe <plo...@math.uqam.ca>

> Newsgroups: sci.math, sci.math.symbolic

> Subject: The story behind a formula for Pi

<http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=1572417>

Simon Plouffe's most recent post to <sci.math.symbolic> was five years

ago:

> From: plouffe <simon....@gmail.com>

> Newsgroups: sci.math, sci.math.symbolic

> Subject: computation of p(200), partitions and the classical example

> of MacMahon

> Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 17:36:34 -0700 (PDT)

<http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7408026>

A short (censored) post of July 2011 was apparently censored:

<http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2279279>

Martin.

Jan 4, 2017, 6:03:59 PM1/4/17

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