Fallacies, Flaws, and Flimflam it’s been good to know ya

At the end of 2008 the College Mathematics Journal will stop running its 20-year column “Fallacies, Flaws, and Flimflam.” The column was devoted to “mistakes, fallacies, howlers, anomalies, and the like”—usually found on student work. In honor of the departure of this entertaining column I submit the following FFF which was submitted as a solution…

Sharkovsky’s theorem

In this post I would like to share one of the most surprising, remarkable, and beautiful results in the study of discrete dynamical systems. It relates to an unusual ordering of the positive integers: First, some definitions. The basic object of study in a discrete dynamical system is the orbit. Let be a function from…