Pennsylvania Is A Numerical Phenomenon

12.14.10 | Sarah Harnisch

   Sunday was the 223rd anniversary of the day in 1787 when Pennsylvania was admitted to the union as the second state. Who cares? Aziz Inan does, and he doesn't even live there. Anan, an electrical engineering professor in Oregon, has such an obsession for numbers that he took notice of the Keystone State's big day. That's because sunday, 12-12-2010, was what he calls a "reverse perfect square" date. That means the reverse of the date, 01022121, equals the square of another number, in this case 1011. That doesn't happen very often. The next time it will is on Dec. 14, 2030. That date's reverse, 03024121, is the square of 1739. After that, the next reverse square date will be Oct. 20, 2062, the reverse of which is the square of 5101. In the last century, these reverse square dates occurred four times, and just two times in the 19th century. Because Sunday's date was also the state's birthday -- Pennsylvania became the second state on dec. 12, 1787 -- Dr. Inan thought it was kind of cool to make the connection. He's probably the only person in the country who did.