Thursday, June 25, 2009

Erdős number - do published books count?

In the past I've tried tracking my Erdős number through a particular coauthor that I think is likely to have the smallest number of all my coauthors. Today I tried doing it a different way, through someone else who I know well but don't have a direct publication with (who I just realized would have a low number)... and found a link to him.

But the question is, is the series of links I found legit?

Do coauthors of published books (which are not only citeable but cited) count as links toward Erdős number?

If so, mine is at most 5. If I look hard enough I can probably get it down to papers only, but if books count I don't need to spend the time looking. (Later edit: found a papers-only link that's of length 6. Considering its convolutedness I expect there's a shorter one to be found somewhere.)

Judging by the discussion later in the wikipedia article, the answer is that the book counts. So E ≤ 5.

One day I'm going to take some time and try to find a shorter link.

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