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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Erdös Trivia...

Just a line I recently found surprising in the Wikipedia entry for Paul Erdös....

Though Erdös collaborated with over 500 different individuals in his lifetime, publishing more than 1500 mathematical articles, he not only never won the Fields Medal himself, "nor did he coauthor a paper with anyone who did, a pattern that extends to other prizes." That struck me as remarkable (and I assume it's accurate, unless someone knows a counter-example?). I'm not quite certain what the last phrase ("a pattern that extends to...") even means -- does it mean he never collaborated with the winner of any prize he had not himself won??? Anyway, apparently there have never been any Fields Medalists with "Erdös numbers" of "1" -- wouldn't have guessed that!

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