A number pattern finder is a software program used to generate number patterns. The user enters a series of numbers into the program, which attempts to find a pattern and display it. Number pattern finders can be downloaded from the Internet; some are free of charge.
Several number patterns exist in the mathematical world. Arithmetic and geometric sequences are two examples. Other sequences include triangular numbers, square numbers, cube numbers and Fibonacci numbers. An arithmetic sequence is generated by adding some value to each number in the sequence. For example, in the sequence 1, 4, 7, 10, the value of 3 is added to each number in the sequence. The value of the number added each time is called the common difference. The common difference may be positive or negative.
Geometric sequences are formed by multiplying each number in the sequence by some value. The triangular number sequence is 1, 3, 6, 10, 15; it is generated by counting the number of dots in a series of triangles of increasing size. Square sequences are the squares of whole numbers, and cube sequences are the cubes of whole numbers. The Fibonacci numbers are obtained by adding together the two numbers before the next number in the sequence, as in 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8.