Stanley’s Erdős Number is 5

Over dinner yesterday, Jason and I got to talking about Erdős numbers of various people. He didn’t know his, so I looked it up–the Mathematical Reviews database MathSciNet has a “compute collaboration distance” function in the author search. It produces output like this:

Jason Stanley coauthored with Richard G. Heck, Jr. MR1234144 (94k:03006)
Richard G. Heck, Jr. coauthored with George Stephen Boolos MR1701948 (2000k:03003)
George Stephen Boolos coauthored with John P. Burgess MR1898463 (2003a:03001)
John P. Burgess coauthored with R. Daniel Mauldin MR0628885 (82j:28002)
R. Daniel Mauldin coauthored with Paul Erdös MR0412390 (54 #516)

It’s not perfect, since it only computes distance based on papers in the MR database, i.e., mathematical papers. But, you can compute the distance not just to Erdős, but to anyone in the database: my Stanley number, for instance, is ≤6.

3 thoughts on “Stanley’s Erdős Number is 5

  1. Woohoo. My Zach number is less than or equal to 5. Collaboration goes Zach -> Baaz -> Montagna -> Ono -> Meyer -> Restall. That’s very nice.

  2. Indeed we should! (Let’s talk in Banff…)More fun: I have a Dummett number and even a Carnap. Not sure if I have a Russell (Bertrand, not Gillian: my number with Gill will be defined sometime soon.)There’s something strangely satisfying in the fact that my shortest collaboration path with Frank Jackson is (according to MathSciNet) of length 8, and goes through Canada (Urquhart and Pelletier and Delgrande) and Europe (Gärdenfors) before returning to Australia.

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