Kleitman was born in New York, New York in 1934. received his PhD in Physics from Harvard University in 1958 under Nobel Laureates Julian Schwinger and Roy Glauber. He is the "k" in G. W. Peck, a pseudonym for a group of six mathematicians that includes Kleitman. Formerly a physics professor at Brandeis University, Kleitman was encouraged by Paul Erdős to change his field of study to mathematics. Perhaps humorously, Erdős once asked him, "Why are you only a physicist?"
Kleitman joined the applied mathematics faculty at MIT in 1966, and was promoted to professor in 1969.
Since Minnie Driver of Good Will Hunting appeared in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon, Kleitman has a Bacon number of 2. Adding the two numbers results in an Erdős–Bacon number of 3, tied for lowest currently.
- Daniel Kleitman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "MIT Mathematics - Daniel Kleitman". www-math.mit.edu. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- Peck, G. W. (2002), Kleitman and combinatorics: a celebration, Discrete Mathematics 257 (2–3): 193–224, doi:10.1016/S0012-365X(02)00595-2, MR 1935723.
- Daniel J. Kleitman, "My Career in the Movies,", Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 45, 502 (April 1998)
- Grossman, Jerry. "Items of Interest Related to Erdös Numbers". The Erdös Number Project. Oakland University. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- "Items of Interest Related to Erdös Numbers". The Erdös Number Project. Oakland University. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
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