Paul Erdős

23 Feb, 2023 510 Mathematics

Paul Erdos (1913 - 1996) is one of the most celebrated mathematicians of the 20th century. During his long career, he made a number of impressive advances in our understanding of maths and developed whole new fields in the subject. He was born into a Jewish family in Hungary just before the outbreak of World War I, and his life was shaped by the rise of fascism in Europe, anti-Semitism and the Cold War. His reputation for mathematical problem solving is unrivalled and he was extraordinarily prolific. He produced more than 1,500 papers and collaborated with around 500 other academics. He also had an unconventional lifestyle. Instead of having a long-term post at one university, he spent much of his life travelling around visiting other mathematicians, often staying for just a few days.

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Guests

  • Colva Roney-Dougal 11 episodes
    Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews
  • Timothy Gowers 4 episodes
    Professor of Mathematics at the College de France in Paris and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
  • Andrew Treglown No other episodes
    Associate Professor in Mathematics at the University of Birmingham

Reading list

  • Proofs from The Book
    Martin Aigner and Gunter Ziegler (Springer, 2018) Google Books →
  • The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth
    Paul Hoffman (Fourth Estate, 1999) Google Books →
  • My Brain is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos
    Bruce Schechter (Simon and Schuster, 2000) Google Books →
  • Paul Erdos, 1913-1996: Obituary
    Laszlo Babai and Joel Spencer
  • Paul Erdos by J J O'Connor and E F Robertson - University of St Andrews
    (University of St Andrews )
  • The elementary proof of the prime number theorem
    Joel Spencer and Ron Graham ( 31(3), June 2009)
  • Paul Erdos - Wikipedia

Related episodes


Programme ID: m001jc68

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001jc68

Auto-category: 510 (Mathematics)