Talk:Paul Erdős

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Former featured articlePaul Erdős is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Article milestones
January 19, 2004Refreshing brilliant proseKept
April 14, 2004Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article

Suggestions for New Material[edit]

His Mother[edit]

I think his relationship with his mother should also be mentioned --Xamedes

Names of his Family Members[edit]

If anyone nedded the information, his mother's name was Anna, his father was Lajos, and his 2 sisters who both died while he was being born were named Klàra and Magda.--Puckeater8 02:50, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Fields Medal[edit]

Perhaps something should be said about Erdos and the Fields medal. --Anon


I would love to see some more pictures of him, earlier in life. Some from his 20s when he became a doctor would be really cool to see, but even some from his 40s or 50s would be nice.


I don' t understand how you can site Paul Hoffmans book "The man who loved only numbers" and not include Andrew Vázsonyi in the article. He was one of Erdos' good friends before WW2. --Puckeater8 22:41, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Discussion about Pronunciation[edit]

On the pronunciation: It said "Erd-ish" before. Hoffman's book says "Air-dish". Both are wrong. Of course it is difficult to express a foreign pronunciation in terms of English given that English lacks the exact sounds required. However, a fair approximation is that the first syllable is like "air" except that the "r" is rolled slightly. The second syllable is like "dersh". The long accent makes the second syllable long. Stress is on the first syllable. My authority for this is that I asked him. --Zero 05:27, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I confirm (being a Hungarian) :). I'm not strong on SAMPA but I try to create a Hunagrian - SAMPA - IPA chart on hu:SAMPA Magyar nyelvhez which should help in the future pron. guides. So far you may see that it's transscripted as "errd9:S" in SAMPA (except if I figured it wrong; I can't write IPA here because Opera can't translate UTF8 input to 8859-1 webpages). --grin 08:26, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The problem is that "dersh" works only for certain accents. In particular, it's highly misleading for the large majority of the population of the U.S. and almost the whole population of Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand, for whom "dersh" means something with a /r/ sound in it. I'm going to try to clarify it. —JerryFriedman 20:49, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)


in the main article Erdós is said to be agnostic, however in the linked Mathematical beauty article he is said to be an atheist. This conflict should be researched and there should be ushered in beauty of uniformity.


Can somebody make a link to Dennis Gabor, a physicist featured in (the English language version of) Wikipedia, and mentioned in the Notes, but with his name spelled in Hungarian? Thanks!

Paul Erdős: alphabetization criteria et cœtera...[edit]

[I have wrote the following to Mr. Rubin at his discussion page...]


Respectable Wiki-Editor,

Of your user page...:

  1. This user is a relatively famous Wikipedian: Arthur Rubin;
  2. Note: I didn't write that, but I don't feel comfortable taking it out. — Arthur Rubin | (talk).
  • My note about this: I dont know you, but that words seemed to express a sincere feeling. I hope his/her maybe quite correct!

Let us go to the goal...

Honourable Mr. Rubin,

I think I have understood why you have reverted the alphabetization I have proposed for two or three times at Paul Erdős article.

In fact — last time — , you have commented the revertions as follows:

  1. 01:19 7 february 2007 (Revert failed alphabetization AGAIN)
  1. 01:21 7 february 2007 (Let's try this sort, if yoy want to alphabetize)

If you appreciate [FAMILY NAME, FIRST NAME] form (Nothing against it. I do appreciate this too!...), then, accordingly, at "COLABORATIONS" TOPIC, it must appear, for example:

  1. * Alavi, Yousef;
  2. * Bollobas, Bela;
  3. * (and so the following..., until Wrinkler, Peter, naturally, the last)

And, so, this "in fact"-alphabetized set would make sense: to provide quick and easy seeking, don't you agree?

On the other side — but under the same theme — why revertion done at "EXTERNAL LINKS" TOPIC? I really do not understand it. If Wikipedia Policies & Rules prescribe it in such manner, please, can you report it to me?

As you have seen — I think so — I am not an "anglo-culture native user", but a foreign ("alien" or "stranger"...) one, from Brasil. But I, naturally, want to obey or conform to the "Anglophone-Wikipedia home rules", not conform to mine.

So, my zealous wiki-editor... Can you answer me these questions, and solve these doubts?

Finally, can you post your answer to these questions on my discussion page?

Best wiki-salutations!

EgídioCampos, 2007.02.07, 14:20 UTC.

He was tricked by the Monty Hall Problem[edit]

ref Classic Problems of Probability - Gorroochurn

Pal Erdős - a more critical view needed[edit]

Nonsense from a sock-puppet of a blocked user.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Two notes below belong to J. Larson:


In May 1954, Kurepa published his Math Review MR0058687 (15,410b) of P. Erdős and R. Rado. A problem on ordered sets. J. London Math. Soc. (2), 28(4):426–438, 1953., in which the first half delineated the contents of the paper, and the second half listed references he felt should have been included, citing five of his own papers and Theorem 14 of [Hausdorff, 1908]. Of relevance to the partition calculus, he wrote “especially the proof and the result in the reviewer’s paper [his Fundamental Relation proved in [1939]] · · · are connected with lemmas 3 and 4 of the paper under review.”

Kurepa asserted further that “the idea of using superposition of orderings of a same set was, as far as we know, first introduced in 1937 by the reviewer.”


For the Ramification Problem, the authors note that a solution for n = ℵ0 was given by Dénes König [1927]. Erdős and Tarski continued: “for numbers n > ℵ0 which are not inaccessible it was given by Aronszajn” (sic). It is surprising that the authors do not mention Kurepa, who brought the word ramification into mathematics for this type of system. Tarski presumably was acquainted with Kurepa’s work after Kurepa’s visit to Warsaw in 1937 (see [Kurepa, 1937a]), but Erdős was not. In his prior [1942], Erdős had already used the approach he came to call the ramification method without using this name.

(All above is mainly copy-pasted from Gabbay, Dov M.; Kanamori, Akihiro; Woods, John; Sets and extensions in the twentieth century, 2012 edition)

3. From In memoriam: James Earl Baumgartner (1943 - 2011) we learn that the paper

Paul Erdos and Richard Rado. A partition calculus in set theory. Bull. Amer. Math. Soc., 62:427–489, 1956 contains a large part proved by Kurepa in his paper

Đuro Kurepa. Ensembles ordonnées et ramifiés. Publ. Math. Univ. Belgrade, 4:1–138, 1935. A35.

21 years earlier. But Kurepa wasn't mentioned in this Erdos-Rado work. The only new thing in the Erdor-Rado paper was a conjecture refuted by Specker.

4. P Erdos et all; Choosability in Graphs: In Graph Coloring Problems by Tommy R. Jensen, Bjarne Toft John Wiley & Sons, 2011 (p. 19) we read, The idea of associating with each vertex v of G a list L(v) from which the colors has to be chosen in coloring of G is due independently to Vizing [1976] and to Erdős, Rubin, and Taylor [1979]. Further in [1] we read Borodin [Bor] (1977) and Erdős-Rubin-Taylor [ERT] independently characterized the degree-listcolorable graphs. But there is no due credits given to Soviet mathematicians in the Erdős-Rubin-Taylor paper.--BTZorbas (talk) 15:39, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

It is extremely common in the sciences to have previous ideas that are close to those in a current paper. It's also very common for a reviewer, who is of course in the same area, to believe their prior papers should be cited as well, and the new work is just an slight extension of their own research. Unless this rises to the level of scientific misconduct (the author knew of the prior research, deliberately did not cite it, and claimed the idea as their own) this does not seem very notable. Priority disputes are quite common, and probably everyone who has published many papers has run into this situation at least once. LouScheffer (talk) 19:16, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

Note In the article it was said, "Ten years later, in 1973, the 60-year-old Erdős voluntarily left Hungary". But in his [ERT] paper from 1979 he wrote that he was affiliated with Hungarian Institute of Sciences.--BTZorbas (talk) 15:57, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Does this have anything to do with the article? It is hard to know what to make of your comments. For example, do you not know that it is possible to be affiliated with an institution without necessarily being located in the same place? (It is quite common for academics to hold institutional affiliations that cross borders, or even oceans.) --JBL (talk) 17:43, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
"it is possible" != "it was". Don't make of my comments anything, please.--BTZorbas (talk) 18:06, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
This talk page is for discussion about editing the article. If your comments don't have anything to do with editing the article, please don't use this space for them in the future. --JBL (talk) 18:54, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
My comment has to do with this article very much. My advice above is just for people like you.--BTZorbas (talk) 19:10, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
"People like me" meaning good-faith editors who are interested in the subject of this article? Or merely people who like other editors to be explicit about what they are proposing? Or perhaps people with competence in this field? --JBL (talk) 21:02, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
Is there a proposal for a change to the article? Johnuniq (talk) 00:07, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes there is one. The three examples I counted above show that Erdos and coauthors reintroduced (or "reintroduced"?) some solutions and some ideas without giving due credit to those who pioneered the same ideas and solutions.--BTZorbas (talk) 01:06, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
You say "yes there is one" but you haven't made it yet. --JBL (talk) 01:20, 23 January 2018 (UTC)