"I wasn't trying to reinvent relativity or anything, but I did hope I could contribute a little something to the world of mathematics," said Carl Larsen of Nashville, Tennessee, of his efforts to devise a divisibility test for the number seven. "Boy, did I fall short."
According to Larsen, from the time that he was little boy and learned of the handy divisibility tests for numbers three, nine, two, four, and eight, he knew that he wanted to be the one to create a similarly useful device for the number seven.
"Before you start doing long division, you want to know if you're going to be dealing with remainders," said Larsen, who admitted to being intimidated by fractions and decimal points. "It's a question of knowing what you're in for. Who doesn't want to be prepared?"
Larsen went on to explain that as someone born on July 7, 1987, the mission of creating a divisibility test for seven is one that is very personal to him. "I was born for this task. I really thought it was meant for me."
However, after trying all the obvious divisibility tests for seven, including checking whether the sum of the last seven digits of the number to be divided is divisible by seven, and even some of the less obvious ones, like using the sum of the first seven digits, Larsen finally had to admit defeat - at least for now.
"Seven hasn't been much of a lucky number for me in this case," he noted.
Even so, Larsen still hopes to one day discover the test that has thus far eluded mathematical minds throughout history. And when and if it happens, he is confident that the rewards will be beyond divisibility - by seven or by any other number. "I'm pretty sure it'll go viral on the spot."
Until then, Larsen is biding his time. "Don't count me out just yet. Right now, you may never have heard of Carl Larsen, but I may one day be known as the modem-day Einstein of divisibility. You just wait."