He was one of the most prolific mathematicians of the 20th century.

March 26, Death Date: September 20, Place of Birth: Number theory, combinatorics a branch of mathematics concerning the arrangement of finite setsand discrete mathematics were his consuming passions.

Everything else was of no interest: A genius in the true sense of the word, Erdos traveled the world, living out of a suitcase, to problem solve--and problem pose--with his mathematical peers.

A small, hyperactive man, he would arrive at a university or research center confident of his welcome. While he was their guest, it was a host's task to lodge him, feed him, do his laundry, make sure he caught his plane to the next meeting, and sometimes even do his income taxes.

Cosseted by his mother and by household servants, he was not brought up to fend for himself. Gina Bari Kolata, writing in Science magazine, reports that Erdos said he "never even buttered his own bread until he was 21 years old.

Erdos laid the foundation of computer science by establishing the field of discrete mathematics. A number theorist from the beginning, he was just 20 years old when he discovered a proof for Chebyshev's theorem, which says that for each integer greater than one, there is always at least one prime number between it and its double.

Erdos was born in Budapest, Hungary, on March 26, His parents, Lajos and Anna Erdos, were high school mathematics teachers. His two older sisters died of scarlet fever when he was an infant, leaving him an only child with a very protective mother.

Erdos was educated at home by his parents and a governess, and his gift for mathematics was recognized at an early age.

It is said that Erdos could multiply three-digit numbers in his head at the age three, and discovered the concept of negative numbers when he was four. He received his higher education from the University of Budapest, entering at the age of 17 and graduating four years later with a Ph.

He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Manchester, England, leaving Hungary in the midst of political unrest in As a Jew, Hungary was then a dangerous place for him to be.

During the ensuing Nazi era, four of Erdos's relatives were murdered, and his father died of a heart attack in InErdos came to the United States. However, because of the political situation in Hungary, he had difficulty receiving permission from the U. He settled in Israel and did not return to the United States until the s.

While in the U. His appearances were irregular, owing to the fact that he had no formal arrangements with any of the schools he visited.

He would come for a few months, receive payment for his work, and move on. He was known to fly to as many as fifteen places in one month--remarking that he was unaffected by jet lag.

Because he never renounced his Hungarian citizenship, he was able to receive a small salary from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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An Erdos Number Conveyed Prestige So esteemed was Erdos by his colleagues that they invented the term "Erdos number" to describe their close connections with him. For example, if someone had co-authored a paper with Erdos, they were said to have an Erdos number of one.

If someone had worked with another who had worked with Erdos, their Erdos number was two, and so on. According to his obituary in the New York Times, persons had an Erdos number of one; an additional 4, could claim an Erdos number of two.

It is said that Albert Einstein had an Erdos number of two. Ronald Graham, director of information sciences at AT and T Laboratories, once said that research was done to determine the highest Erdos number, which was thought to be As Graham recalled, "It's hard to get a large Erdos number, because you keep coming back to Erdos.

Throughout his career, Erdos sought out younger mathematicians, encouraging them to work on problems he had not solved.For Paul Erdos (), mathematics was life. Number theory, combinatorics (a branch of mathematics concerning the arrangement of finite sets), and discrete mathematics were his consuming passions.

Everything else was of no interest: property, money, clothes, intimate relationships, social. The biography of a mathematical genius. Paul Erdos was the most prolific pure mathematician in history and, arguably, the strangest too. 'A mathematical genius of the first order, Paul Erdos was totally obsessed with his subject - he thought and wrote mathematics for nineteen hours a day until he died/5(K).

A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in his or her work, typically to solve mathematical problems.

Mathematics is concerned with numbers, data, quantity, structure, space, models, and change. Erdos: 3 Key Life Lessons You Can Learn From A Very Odd Mathematician. By all accounts, Paul Erdos was a very odd guy If you were a friend he might show up at your house in the middle of the night wanting to do math and announce, “My brain is open.”.

ERDöS, PAUL (PáL) (pfmlures.comst, Hungary, 26 March ; pfmlures.com, Poland, 20 September ), mathematics, number theory. Erdös was a Hungarian mathematician who spent much of his life traveling and working with colleagues around the world on mathematical problems of many kinds.

Directed by George Paul Csicsery. With Paul Erdös, Ronald Graham, Joel Spencer, J.W.S.

For Paul Erdos (), mathematics was life. Number theory, combinatorics (a branch of mathematics concerning the arrangement of finite sets), and discrete mathematics were his . ERDöS, PAUL (PáL) (pfmlures.comst, Hungary, 26 March ; pfmlures.com, Poland, 20 September ), mathematics, number theory. Erdös was a Hungarian mathematician who spent much of his life traveling and working with colleagues around the world on mathematical problems of many kinds. Biography. Hungarian mathematician who became perhaps one of the most prolific from the twentieth century, having composing a lot more than 1, mathematical articles during his career.

Cassels. N Is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erdos is a biographical documentary about the life of mathematician Paul Erdos, directed by George Paul Csicsery/10().

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Biography of Paul Erdos