# Ulam Spirals in R and ggplot

November 29, 2011
By

(This article was first published on Command-Line Worldview, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Having seen a twitter post speed by about Ulam Spirals I started to read up.  As the story goes in 1963 Stanislaw Ulam was bored at conference and started scribbling numbers in a spiral. What he discovered was a strange diaginal pattern of Prime Numbers. I was a little bored as well, so i decided to write up some R to plot these patterns.

Here is the main function. I am sure there are more elegant ways of calculating a Ulam spiral but here is my hack. First we calculate the diagonals and then fill in the gaps.

```
Ulam.Spiral<-function(N){
if (even(N)){
cat(sprintf("Error: function only accepts odd integers because it a poorly written and fragile piece of code.\n"))
}else{
m <- matrix(NA, nrow=(N), ncol=N)
top.left<-c(1,1)
bottom.right<-c(N,N)
top.right<-c(1,N)
bottom.left<-c(N,1)
n<-N
a<-N
m[median(1:N),median(1:N)]<-1

while(a>=3){
# This is an adaptation of a Euler Problem 28 solution. It calculates the diaginals.
m[bottom.right[1],bottom.right[2]]<- a^2 #bottom right
m[top.left[1],top.left[2]]<- a^2 - 2*a + 2 # top left
m[top.right[1],top.right[2]]<- a^2 - 3*a + 3 # top right
m[bottom.left[1],bottom.left[2]]<- a^2 - a + 1 #bottom left

#Both Horizontal Rows
m[top.left[1],(top.left[2]+1):(top.right[2]-1)]<-seq( m[top.left[1],top.left[2]]-1,m[top.left[1],top.right[2]]+1) #Fill in top row
m[bottom.left[1],(bottom.left[2]+1):(bottom.right[2]-1)]<-seq(m[bottom.left[1],bottom.left[2]]+1, m[bottom.left[1],bottom.right[2]]-1) #Fill in bottom row
#Left Vertical Rows
m[(top.left[1]+1):(bottom.left[1]-1), top.left[1]] <- seq(m[top.left[1],top.left[1]]+1, m[bottom.left[1],top.left[1]]-1)#Left Hand Row
#Right Verical Row
m[(top.right[1]+1):(bottom.right[2]-1),top.right[2]] <-seq(m[top.right[1],top.right[2]]-1 , m[top.right[1],top.right[2]] - (a-2) )
#drop down on square and repeat
a<-a-2
top.left<-c(top.left[1]+1,top.left[2]+1)
bottom.right<-c(bottom.right[1]-1,bottom.right[2]-1)
top.right<-c(top.right[1]+1,top.right[2]-1)
bottom.left<-c(bottom.left[1]-1,bottom.left[2]+1)
}
return(m)
}
}```

Created by Pretty R at inside-R.org

Here is the output for a 5X5 spiral

```     [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4] [,5]
[1,]   17   16   15   14   13
[2,]   18    5    4    3   12
[3,]   19    6    1    2   11
[4,]   20    7    8    9   10
[5,]   21   22   23   24   25```

The code is on git hub. https://github.com/jofusa/ulam-spirals-R

Many Thanks to http://librestats.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/prime-testing-function-in-r/ for a useful IsPrime() function and saving me some time.

Here is an example Plot- Prime Number are in red:

R-bloggers.com offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials on topics such as: Data science, Big Data, R jobs, visualization (ggplot2, Boxplots, maps, animation), programming (RStudio, Sweave, LaTeX, SQL, Eclipse, git, hadoop, Web Scraping) statistics (regression, PCA, time series, trading) and more...

Tags: , , , ,