Groups, Graphs, and Paul Erdös
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Ivars Peterson (MathLand)  
The relative isolation that Andrew Wiles sought in solving Fermat's Last Theorem is certainly not the rule in mathematical research. Doing mathematics is really a remarkably social process. The abundance of meetings, conferences, workshops, colloquia, seminars, and other gatherings of mathematicians attests to the importance of collaboration. Electronic communication speeds and facilitates such interaction. Paul Erdos, perhaps more than any other mathematician in modern times, epitomized the strength and breadth of mathematical collaboration. Born more than 80 years ago in Hungary, Erdos traveled the world for decades in search of new mathematics and new collaborators. His efforts have become legendary in mathematical circles, and mathematicians have taken a characteristically mathematical way of describing them  by inventing a new quantity called an Erdos number.  


Levels:  High School (912), College 
Languages:  English 
Resource Types:  Articles 
Math Topics:  Number Sense/About Numbers, History and Biography 
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