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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paul Erdos... Still Publishing After All These Years

 
A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.” --Paul Erdos


(via kmhkmh at WikimediaCommons)
John Cook notes at his blog that Paul Erdos, the most prolific mathematician of all time (who died in 1996), is STILL publishing an occasional paper now and then, because of all the collaborators who started papers with him way back when, that were put aside, and are only now being completed. John's short post here:

http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2012/10/23/dead-man-writing/

The above leads in turn to a fresh hour-long podcast (from "Relatively Prime") on Erdos here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/relatively-prime/id560923828

...Several of the personal stories told therein are quite wonderful.

And some more Erdos reminiscences here:

http://www.maa.org/features/erdos.html

Finally, Paul Hoffman's classic biography of Erdos, "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers" remains a great read.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Neither you nor John actually cited any recent Erdos publications. I wish you would -- that would make your post a lot more interesting. What sort of journals are these papers being published in? Who are the co-authors? Are they combinatorics papers or what?

"Shecky Riemann" said...

FWIW, here's some sketchy citations I've copy/pasted from elsewhere of papers since 2000, but not all that complete or descriptive unless you can find the actual papers:

Erdos, Paul and Renyi, A (2001).
On random graphs I.

Erdos P and Renyi, A (2001).
On the evolution of random graphs.

Chung, Fan, Graham, Ronald L., and Erdos, Paul (2002).
Erdos on Graphs: His Legacy of Unsolved Problems.

Erdos, P, Faudree, R, Rousseau, C, and Schelp, R (2006).
On cycle-Complete graph Ramsey numbers.
Journal Of Graph Theory.

Erdos, P and Hajnal, A .
On Ramsey Like Theorems, Problems and Results.

Erdos, P and Rényi, A .
ON RANDOM MATRICES.

Erdos, P and Rényi, A .
ON RANDOM MATRICES II.

Erdos, P and Renyi, A .
On random graphs I.

Burr, S, Erdos, P, Faudree, R, and Rousseau, C .
Ramsey minimal graphs for matchings.
The Theory and Applications of Graphs.

Anonymous said...

So are we meant to read "still" as "as of 2006"?

"Shecky Riemann" said...

I don't know what the latest date for an "Erdos" paper is since I doubt the above list is complete, but the sense from the podcast I think is that there are still papers being worked on that are likely to be accepted for publication one day.
Ron Graham is the one originally using the word "still" in the quote from Cook's piece -- the quote appears to be from ~2011, where Graham further says, "In the last couple years he’s published three or four papers."

Anonymous said...

I see.. Just seems a bit shoddy of people to talk about this without making any mention of the articles themselves. It perpetuates the idea that math journals are inaccessible and secretive. Erdos himself would be very much against that.