Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Erdos-Bacon number

A recent game of 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon (which shouldn't be played with people who grew up in the 80s) got me thinking about Erdos - that insanely prolific mathematician. He published over 1400 papers in his lifetime (1913 - 1996). It's now commonplace for mathematicians to chest bump over their Erdos numbers (it's true, I've seen it).

Interestingly, a small number of people are connected to both Erdős and Bacon and thus have an Erdős–Bacon number. Actress-mathematician, Danica McKellar, best known for playing Winnie Cooper on the TV series, The Wonder Years, has Erdős number of 4 and a Bacon number of 2 (I always liked Winnie). The lowest known Erdős–Bacon num is 3 for Daniel Kleitman, a math prof at MIT; his Erdős number is 1 and his Bacon number is 2 (he had a short cameo in Good Will Hunting).

I wonder what the degrees of separation are between Erdos and Bacon?

Seed planting


I'm really not much of a writer, so we'll see how this goes, but I often have ideas, opinions or news items that I want to share with anyone who is interested! I'm too loquacious for Twitter and Facebook Posts get muffled too quickly, so I'm trying out Blogging...

Champaca is an evergreen tree, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is best known and cultivated for its strongly fragrant yellow or white flowers. The flower is the main scent present in commercial 'joy' perfumes (e.g., J'Adore by Dior to name one) and is commonly referred to as the 'joy perfume tree'. It has a really exquisite smell that transports me to a sweet tropical night and the lobby of a lavish Parisian hotel at the same time. Perfect escapism all from a few oderant molecules. I hope to do the same here with typeface.

Thanks for reading and may Champaca Tree bring you a little joy!