These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
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Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
New Pick-Up Line: What's Your Erdö s Number?
Every man has his price, in this
case especially after he has assumed room temperature. Paul Erdö s, a Hungarian mathematician who left this Earth
in 1996, was a prodigy in his day. A notable eccentric, he usually had no permanent address and worked with other
mathematicians all over the world to author or co-author more than 500 scholarly papers. To have one's name
associated with Erdö s on a publication was, and still is, a coveted status symbol in the world of number
crunchers. Similar to the six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon theorem, aspiring mathematicians strive for
an "Erdö s Number," which is the separation from actually having co-authored a paper with Erdö s himself: an Erdos
Number of 1. Co-authoring a paper with someone who co-authored a paper with Erdö s earns one an Erdö s Number of
2, and so on. So valuable is the ranking that some high-Erdö s-Number authors are auctioning off their
co-authorship for a stiff price, just to help raise another mathematician's Erdö s Number. Seems Capitalism has
invaded the halls of Academe.