James Thornton logo
James Thornton
Web jamesthornton.com
Internet Business Consultant
Home Blog Bio Projects Contact
JamesThornton.com -\> Fun -\> Robert Morris Sequence

Robert Morris Sequence

Can you solve the number sequence that Robert Morris Sr. (former NSA chief scientist) gave to Cliff Stoll which Stoll referenced in chapter 48 of the Cuckoo's Egg? What is the next number in this sequence:

1 11 21 1211 111221
To find the answer or get help:
  • Read Morris.java -- source code for a Java application I wrote that generates the Robert Morris sequence

    "a computer language is not just a way of getting a computer to perform operations but rather that it is a novel formal medium for expressing ideas about methodology"

    -- from preface to Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, by Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman with Julie Sussman

  • Run Morris.class -- Java application I wrote that generates the Robert Morris sequence. Example:

    fusion ~ 1%> java Morris 1 5
    1 11 21 1211 111221
    (begin with the number "1" and generate "5" numbers -- replace "5" with "6" to get the next number)

  • Send e-mail to james@electricspeed.com

More Cuckoo's Egg Information

  • "In 1990, PBS/Nova made a documentary show, 'The KGB, CIA, Computer and Me'. Most of the people [Stoll] mentions in Cuckoo's Egg play themselves in the video, with the exception of the CIA spooks (we got some football coaches to play their part)." -- Cliff Stoll
  • "Stalking the wily hacker" -- Cliff Stoll's article published in the May 1998 issue of the Communications of the ACM. "It's an acadmemic paper which highlights the techniques that the hacker used to break into computers."

Follow espeed on Twitter