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#1 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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[Link] Complete Works of Paul Erdos

Post icon  Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:44 AM

Paul Erdos is the most published mathematician, and a combinatorialist. He and Renyi developed the predominant random-graph model. Erdos also flushed out a lot of Ramsey Theory. I imagine these papers will make interesting reads, for those interested.

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#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: [Link] Complete Works of Paul Erdos

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:12 AM

Erdös is also so legendary that he has his own number: if you're a mathematician, your Erdös number is calculated as the following recursive function.

Setup step: rank the mathematicians with whom you've collaborated by their Erdös numbers. Choose the one with the least Erdös number. Call him Jones.

Your Erdös number is then:

0 if you are Erdös
1+ Jones' Erdös number otherwise.

Erdös spent the best life possible for a mathematician: he never owned a house or a car or really even lived anywhere. He he simply travelled around the world, staying with mathematicians, and proving things. He's the one who defined a mathematician as "a machine for turning coffee into theorems". Of the people whose life spans intersected with mine, he's certainly one of the ones I would most like to have met.
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