Wednesday is 11022011, a very rare eight-digit palindrome day
This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.
Happy Palindrome Day, everyone!
You probably woke up knowing it was Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, but to Aziz Inan (pictured above), a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Portland, today's date looks more like this: 11022011.
That makes it a very rare, eight-digit palindrome day.
Just how rare is an eight-digit palindrome day? In an interview with The Times, Inan, who has taken on the discovery of palindrome dates as a sort of hobby, explained that there will only be 12 eight-digit palindrome days this entire century.
In addition to the automatic awesomeness of a date being a palindrome, Inan points out that Wednesday's date is extra special because it is 1001 x 11 x 1001, or the product of a mathematical expression in which both sides are almost mirror images of one another.
In an email to the Los Angeles Times, he wrote: "I know both 11-1-11 (which can also be interpreted as 1-11-11) and 11-11-11 dates to occur this month are very interesting dates as well since they won't repeat again until the next century, but 11022011 won't happen again in ALL four-digit years!!"
Inan has found all kinds of crazy number patterns in Wednesday's date. If you're so inclined, you can read more about it in an article he wrote for The Beacon, the student newspaper of the University of Portland. One thing he didn't write about was how he intends to celebrate such an important date.
"In one of my classes, I asked my students to make palindrome triangle paper hats and decorate them with Wednesday's date," he said. "And then I'm going to have a photographer come and take a picture of me with all my students, and hopefully we will have a photograph that has some type of symmetry."
"This is so much fun," Inan added. "Engineering can get pretty boring because you talk about equations, but when I say, 'Do you know today is a special date?' it gets a lot of attention. It helps me change the subject for a few minutes and bring the students back from their dream or their hibernating."
So, get out the paper hats, and enjoy 11022011!
-- Deborah Netburn
Image: Professor Aziz Inan created this palindrome image (with his face in the center) in honor of 11022011, a very rare eight-digit palindrome date. Credit: Courtesy of Aziz Inan.
[For the Record, 11:37 a.m., Nov. 2: An earlier version of this story had Inan's last name misspelled.]