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Péter Frankl

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Péter Frankl
Peter Frankl at a mathematics conference in Tehran in May 2009
Born (1953-03-26) 26 March 1953 (age 71)
AwardsSilver and gold medal at IMO, The Minister of Foreign Affairs Prize of the Japan Prize, silver award from US international film festival[1]
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorGyula O.H. Katona[2]

Péter Frankl (born 26 March 1953 in Kaposvár, Somogy County, Hungary) is a mathematician, street performer, columnist and educator, active in Japan.[3] Frankl studied mathematics at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and submitted his PhD thesis while still an undergraduate. He holds a PhD degree from the University Paris Diderot as well. He has lived in Japan since 1988, where he is a well-known personality and often appears in the media. He keeps travelling around Japan performing (juggling and giving public lectures on various topics). Frankl won a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1971. He has seven joint papers with Paul Erdős,[4] and eleven joint papers with Ronald Graham.[5] His research is in combinatorics, especially in extremal combinatorics. He is the author of the union-closed sets conjecture.[6]


Both of his parents were survivors of concentration camps and taught him "The only things you own are in your heart and brain". So he became a mathematician. Frankl often lectures about racial discrimination.[7]

Adolescence and abilities[edit]

He could multiply two digit numbers when he was four years old.[8] Frankl speaks 12 languages (Hungarian, English, Russian, Swedish, French, Spanish, Polish, German, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean) and lectured mathematics in many countries in these languages. He has travelled to more than 100 countries.[9][10]


Frankl learnt juggling from Ronald Graham. He and Vojtěch Rödl solved a $1000 problem of Paul Erdős. Zsolt Baranyai helped Frankl to get a scholarship in France, where he became a CNRS research fellow.[citation needed]

For 1984 to 1990, Frankl and Akiyama worked hard organizing a Japanese mathematical Olympiad team, and as a consequence the Japanese team is now a regular participant of the International Mathematical Olympiad.[11][12]

Since 1998, he is an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.[13]

He authored more than thirty books in Japanese, and with László Babai, he wrote the manuscript of a book on "Linear Algebra Methods in Combinatorics".[citation needed] With Norihide Tokushige he is the coauthor of the book Extremal Problems For Finite Sets (American Mathematical Society, 2018).[14]

Frankl conjecture[edit]

For any finite union-closed family of finite sets, other than the family consisting only of the empty set, there exists an element that belongs to at least half of the sets in the family.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.filmfestawards.com US international film & video festival
  2. ^ "Theoretical Computer Science Genealogy". ACM SIGACT. Archived from the original on 29 April 2005. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  3. ^ http://chukou.passnavi.com/parent/special/98-special4?start=1 interview about Peter Frankl
  4. ^ "Erdos0". Erdos Number Project. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  5. ^ "LIST OF PUBLICATIONS OF PETER FRANKL". Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  6. ^ Frankl's union-closed sets conjecture, the Open Problem Garden.
  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. ^ 頭のよくなる本 [A book to be smart]. wave publisher. 1994. ISBN 4-900528-37-4.
  9. ^ ピーター流外国語習得術 [Peter-style foreign language acquisition techniques]. Iwanami Junior Shinsho.
  10. ^ "【プロフィール】ピーター・フランクル [official web site]".
  11. ^ http://www.jikkyo.co.jp/contents/download/1857219556 nakajima sachiko's interview
  12. ^ "Student Math Prize Named after Young 'Genius'". Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  13. ^ MTA Members: Péter Frankl (in Hungarian), Hungarian Academy of Sciences, retrieved 14 October 2015.
  14. ^ Reviews of Extremal Problems For Finite Sets:
    • Hunacek, Mark (October 2018), "Review", MAA Reviews, Mathematical Association of America
    • Holroyd, Fred C., Mathematical Reviews, MR 3822342{{citation}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
    • Chaudhary, M. P., zbMATH, Zbl 1416.05001{{citation}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)

External links[edit]