On this page, I will write about anything non-work related that I think is interesting, kind of like a blog.
An Erdös number of a person describes the maximum number of papers through which that person is linked, by a chain of co-authors, to the prolific mathematician Paul Erdös. For example, the following series of papers:
- S. R. Blackburn, K. Brincat, F. Mirza, and S. Murphy, “Cryptanalysis of ‘Labyrinth’ Stream Cipher”, IEE Electronics Letters, 38(12):1220-1221, 1998.
- X. Lai, J. L. Massey, and S. Murphy, “Markov Ciphers and Differential Cryptanalysis”, in Advances in Cryptology -- EUROCRYPT `91 , LNCS 547, pp. 17-38, Springer-Verlag, 1991.
- D. R. Stinson, J. L. Massey, “An Infinite Class of Counterexamples to a Conjecture Concerning Nonlinear Resilient Functions”, J. Cryptology, 8(3): 167-173, 1995.
- P. Erdös, R. C. Mullin, V. Sos, and D. R. Stinson, “Finite linear spaces and projective planes”, Discrete Math., 47:49-62, 1983.
Leads to the (first) following chain of co-authors, linking me to Paul Erdös:
- Erdös-Stinson-Massey-Murphy-Mirza (Fauzan) 
- Erdös-Cohen-Shparlinski-Blackburn-Mirza (Fauzan) 
In his lifetime, Paul Erdös published over 1500 papers and, as a result of having over 500 co-authors, many famous scientists, engineers and Nobel Prize laureates have a finite Erdös number, such as:
- Erdös-Hell-Deng-Papadimitriou-Gates (Bill)  Founder and CEO of Microsoft
- Erdös-Odlyzko-Skinner-Wiles (Andrew)  Prover of Fermat's Last Theorem
- Erdös-Straus-Einstein (Albert)  Inventor of the theory of relativity, Nobel laureate (Physics)
- Erdös-Chui-Ward-Salam (Abdus)  Pakistani Nobel laureate (Physics)
- Erdös-Conway-Berlekamp-Shannon (Claude)  “Father of information theory”
- Erdös-Holton-Hilton-Whitehead-Newman-Turing (Alan)  “Father of modern computer science”
- Erdös-Darling-Taylor-Mandelbrot (Benoit)  “Father of fractal geometry”
- Erdös-Niven-Schutzenberger-Chomsky (Noam)  Ideas of formal languages and grammers
- Erdös-Odlyzko-Coppersmith (Don)  Inventor of Data Encryption Standard (DES) block cipher
- Erdös-Linial-Rivest (Ron)  Inventor of RSA public-key cryptography and RC4/RC5 ciphers
Hence, through Paul Erdös and a chain of various co-authors, any person with a finite Erdös number is linked to everyone else with a finite Erdös number. So, for example, I am linked to Microsoft CEO Bill Gates by a list of 4+4=8 papers (at most) and to physicist Albert Einstein by a list of 4+2=6 papers (at most).
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