**53**

votes

**9**answers

6k views

### Why do Bernoulli numbers arise everywhere?

I have seen Bernoulli numbers many times, and sometimes very surprisingly. They appear in my textbook on complex analysis, in algebraic topology, and of course, number theory. Things like the criteria ...

**24**

votes

**11**answers

3k views

### What does the generating function $x/(1 - e^{-x})$ count?

Let $x$ be a formal (or small, since the function is analytic) variable, and consider the power series
$$ A(x) = \frac{x}{1 - e^{-x}} = \sum_{m=0}^\infty \left( -\sum_{n=1}^\infty ...