Péter Frankl

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For the pianist, see Peter Frankl.
Péter Frankl
Peter Frankl at a mathematics conference in Tehran, May 2009
Born (1953-03-26)26 March 1953
Residence Japan
Citizenship Japan
Fields combinatorics
Doctoral advisor Gyula O.H. Katona.[1]
Influenced Kentaro Nagao (Takebe Katahiro Prize)[2]
Notable awards Silver and gold medal at IMO, The Minister of Foreign Affairs Prize of the Japan Prize,silver award from US international film festival[3]

Péter Frankl (born 26 March 1953 in Kaposvár, Somogy County, Hungary) is a Hungarian mathematician, street performer, columnist and educator.[4] Frankl studied Mathematics in University Paris Diderot and has lived in Japan since 1988, where he sometimes appears on NHK. Though not as popular as he once was, he still performs juggling in public spaces around Tokyo. Frankl won a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1971. He has seven joint papers with Paul Erdős,[5] and eleven joint papers with Ronald Graham.[6]


Frankl was named Peter by his father to hide his Jewish background. His father told him, "Our Jewishness is on our heart and brain". So he became a mathematician. Frankl often speaks about racial discrimination.[7]


His research is in combinatorics, especially in extremal combinatorics. For example, he is the author of the famous open problem, the union-closed sets conjecture.[8]

He could calculate multiplication of two digits when he was four years old.[9] Frankl speaks 12 languages (English, Russian, Swedish, French, Spanish, Polish, German, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean) and lectured mathematical education in many countries. He says that sometimes native people ignored him because of his non-native pronunciation.[clarification needed][10]

In 1984 Peter Frankl learned 5 balls juggling (7,4,4 pattern) from Paul Klimek of the University of California, Santa Cruz. [11]

Since 1998, he has been an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.[12]

He created mathematical unique puzzle problems concerned about Thue–Siegel–Roth theorem, puzzle of Kontsevich, graph theory, combinatorics for students in the mathematical journal "大学への数学".[13] These hardest math puzzles gave birth to two gold medalists in IMO.[14][15]

Frankl Conjecture[edit]

Let F be a k-uniform family of subsets of a set of n elements. Let t ≥ 2 and suppose that for any pair A, B of distinct members of F, it is not the case that |A ∩ B|≡k (mod t) . Then

|F| \leq \binom n{t-1}


  1. ^ "Theoretical Computer Science Genealogy". ACM SIGACT. Archived from the original on 29 April 2005. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  2. ^ https://www.math.nagoya-u.ac.jp/en/research/prize.html Graduate School of Mathematics, Nagoya University
  3. ^ http://www.filmfestawards.com US international film & video festival
  4. ^ http://chukou.passnavi.com/parent/special/98-special4?start=1 interview about Peter Frankl
  5. ^ "Erdos0". Erdos Number Project. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  6. ^ "LIST OF PUBLICATIONS OF PETER FRANKL". Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  7. ^ http://blog.livedoor.jp/bbgmgt/archives/2935820.html 在日ユダヤ人論序説-ピーター・フランクルを通して考える「日本」-
  8. ^ Frankl's union-closed sets conjecture, the Open Problem Garden.
  9. ^ 頭のよくなる本 [A book to be smart]. wave publisher. ISBN 4-900528-37-4. 
  10. ^ ピーター流外国語習得術 [Peter-style foreign language acquisition techniques]. Iwanami Junior Shinsho. 
  11. ^ ピーターフランクルの中学生でも分かる大学生にも解けない数学問題集2 [Peter Frankl's math problems that can't be solved by university students, but even junior high school students understand, vol. 2]. Nihon Hyoronsha. 
  12. ^ MTA Members: Péter Frankl (in Hungarian), Hungarian Academy of Sciences, retrieved 2015-10-14 .
  13. ^ ピーターフランクルの中学生でも分かる大学生にも解けない数学問題集1 [Peter Frankl's math problems that can't be solved by university students, but even junior high school students understand, vol. 1]. Nihon Hyoronsha. 
  14. ^ http://www.jikkyo.co.jp/contents/download/1857219556 nakajima sachiko's interview
  15. ^ https://www.questia.com/newspaper/1P3-3342144041/student-math-prize-named-after-young-genius Student Math Prize Named after Young 'Genius'

External links[edit]