Monday, 16 March 2009

WUCC15 Number Proposal - The Chess Equivalent of The Erdős Number?

Paul Erdős (1913-1996)
Hungarian Mathematician

The eccentric Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős (1913-1996) was one of the most prolific publishers of papers in mathematical history (apparently second only to Leonhard Euler). Erdős wrote around 1,500 mathematical articles in his lifetime, with 511 direct collaborators.

The Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" between an individual and Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers. Paul Erdős is the only person having an Erdős number of zero. The lowest Erdős number of a coauthor is 1.

Diagramatic explanation of Erdős number [by user:h2g2bob, Wikipedia ]

Other similar number ratings include:
  • Bacon number - as in the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. [link]
  • h-index - index quantifying both the actual scientific productivity & apparent scientific impact of a scientist. [link]
  • Kibo number - someone who has received e-mail from Kibo either directly or through shared contacts.
  • Shusaku number - "distance" between a Go player & Honinbo Shusaku, measured in Go opponents. [link]
  • Small world experiment - comprised several experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram examining the average path length for social networks of people in the USA. [link]
  • Stringfield number - application of the same idea to the field of ufology - connecting ufologists with the late Leonard H. Stringfield.
Proposed WUCC15 Number:
Now the hard part, doing the calculations. My prediction is that the lowest WUCC15 score will go to Victor Korchnoi or Boris Spassky. I would be interested in any comments.

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