My Erdős Number
My Erdős number is at most 5. Paul Erdős was a prolific mathematician who co-authored 1,475 papers with 509 co-authors. A biography of Erdős is appropriately called The Man Who Loved Only Numbers. As a tribute to Erdős, mathematicians, scientists, and engineers who publish papers keep track of their connection to Erdős by identifying their Erdős number. Paul Erdős has Erdős number 0. His co-authors have Erdős number 1, and, in turn, their co-authors (who are not direct Erdős co-authors) have Erdős number 2, etc. This chain of Erdős co-authors can be represented by a mathematical entity called a graph. Using a graph to map connections to Erdős is mathematically poetic as graph theory is one of the areas that Erdős heavily contributed to.
Below is chain of co-authors between me and Paul Erdős that I found using the old painful method of searching through lists of authors with Erdős number 3 and trying to find a connection to one of my co-authors. Now there is an online tool to find the distance between any two authors. Here is the calculation of my Erdős number, which is a different path than the one below (but the same number). You can use the tool to find your Erdős number if you have ever published a scholarly paper.
- 5: Kostas Pagiamtzis
- 4: P. Glenn Gulak
- 3: Thomas Kailath
- 2: Jorma Rissanen
- 1: László Gerencsér
- 0: Paul Erdős
Végre nem butulok tovább.
[Finally I am becoming stupider no more.]
–epitaph of Paul Erdős (self-written)