Daniel Kleitman

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Daniel Kleitman
Daniel Kleitman.jpg
Born 4 October 1934 (age 83)
Alma mater
Scientific career
Fields Combinatorics
Thesis Static Properties of Heavy Fermi-Particles; Deuteron-Nucleon Scattering at High Enery
Doctoral advisor Julian Schwinger, Roy J. Glauber
Doctoral students Stephen Altschul, Douglas West, Dimitris Bertsimas

Daniel J. Kleitman (born October 4, 1934)[1] is a professor of applied mathematics at MIT. His research interests include combinatorics, graph theory, genomics, and operations research.


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.[2] 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,[3] 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?"[4]

Kleitman joined the applied mathematics faculty at MIT in 1966, and was promoted to professor in 1969.[3]

Kleitman coauthored at least six papers with Erdős, giving him an Erdős number of 1.

He was a math advisor and extra for the film Good Will Hunting.[5] Since Minnie Driver, who appeared in Good Will Hunting, also 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.[6][7]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Kleitman, Daniel J in American Men of Science, vol. 4, 2009
  2. ^ Daniel Kleitman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ a b "MIT Mathematics - Daniel Kleitman". www-math.mit.edu. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  4. ^ 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 .
  5. ^ Daniel J. Kleitman, "My Career in the Movies,", Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 45, 502 (April 1998)
  6. ^ Grossman, Jerry. "Items of Interest Related to Erdös Numbers". The Erdös Number Project. Oakland University. Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "Items of Interest Related to Erdös Numbers". The Erdös Number Project. Oakland University. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  8. ^ The 1976 publication The number of semigroups of order n listed 3 co-authors, one of whom is "Bruce R. Rothschild" but this is a typographical error for the correct "Bruce L. Rothschild".

External links[edit]