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Saurabh Mhatre
Saurabh Mhatre

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Visualising the simplest Math problem no one can solve using React.js

Hello, amazing reader,

Hope you are doing fine in your life. I wanted to share some interesting insights I had after watching the 3x+1 problem on Veritasium last week:-

Series Explanation

The rules of the series are as follows:-

  • Start with any positive integer n.

  • Then each term is obtained from the previous term as follows:

    • If the previous term is even, the next term is one half of the previous term.
    • If the previous term is odd, the next term is 3 times the previous term plus 1.
      • The conjecture is that, no matter what value of n, the sequence will always reach 1.


Although the explanation is surprisingly easy to follow from the Youtube video above, no one has been able to prove the series yet.

Visualisation using react.js

The problem in itself is really interesting to watch, but I personally found the practical examples and visualisations used in explaining the problem quite fascinating.

Therefore I wanted to see if I can replicate a few of the visualisations of the series which is popularly known as collatz conjecture using react.js this week. I was successful in building a basic graph of the first 10 numbers in the series as shown below:

Screenshot 2021-09-17 at 7.51.14 PM.png

You can directly check out the code for this graph here on Codesandbox:-
3x+1 in React.js

There is a utility function in the code to generate the series for a particular number:-

export default function generateSeries(x) {
  const series = [x];
  let n = x;
  while (n !== 1) {
    if (n % 2 === 0) {
      n = n / 2;
    } else {
      n = 3 * n + 1;
  return series;
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We then use this function in seriesGeneration component to create series for the first 10 numbers. The numbers are then visualised using recharts library.

I am planning to build a few more visualisations on the same number series, so stay tuned for upcoming articles.

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