A Representation for Whole Numbers and Their Factors

Ana Lúcia Braz Dias
Proceedings of Bridges 2011: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2011)
Pages 543–546 Short Papers


In this paper I will describe models for whole numbers and their divisors using an adaptation of Hasse diagrams. The model gives us a unique visual representation for each whole number, because they are constructed based on the prime factorization of the numbers. Since every number has a unique prime factorization, the model for each number will be unique. The models are easy to make in the classroom and yield beautiful constructions. But most importantly, since they are a visual representation of important relations between a number and its factors, many theorems can be ``rediscovered'' by students when they investigate their constructions.