See reader questions & answers on this topic!  Help others by sharing your knowledge ArchiveName: scimathfaq/erdos Lastmodified: December 8, 1994 Version: 6.2 Erdos Number Form an undirected graph where the vertices are academics, and an edge connects academic X to academic Y if X has written a paper with Y . The Erdos number of X is the length of the shortest path in this graph connecting X with Erdos. Erdos has Erdos number 0. Coauthors of Erdos have Erdos number 1. Einstein has Erdos number 2, since he wrote a paper with Ernst Straus, and Straus wrote many papers with Erdos. The Extended Erdos Number applies to coauthors of Erdos. For People who have authored more than one paper with Erdos, their Erdos number is defined to be 1/# paperscoauthored. Ron Graham has the smallest, nonzero, Erdos number. Why people care about it? Nobody seems to have a reasonable answer... Who is Paul Erdos? Paul Erdos is an Hungarian mathematician. He obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester and has spent most of his efforts tackling "small" problems and conjectures related to graph theory, combinatorics, geometry and number theory. He is one of the most prolific publishers of papers; and is also and indefatigable traveller. References Caspar Goffman. And what is your Erdos number? American Mathematical Monthly, v. 76 (1969), p. 791. _________________________________________________________________ alopezo@barrow.uwaterloo.ca Tue Apr 04 17:26:57 EDT 1995 User Contributions:
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