Sunday, June 16, 2013

Erdos and Tao

Paul Erdos and Terence Tao in 1985. Tao would have been 10 years old or so. (From Tao's G+ feed.) Tao is possibly SMPY's most famous alumnus, although I am not 100% sure.

Erdos slang:
Children were referred to as "epsilons" (because in mathematics, particularly calculus, an arbitrarily small positive quantity is commonly denoted by the Greek letter (ε))
Women were "bosses"
Men were "slaves"
People who stopped doing mathematics had "died"
People who physically died had "left"
Alcoholic drinks were "poison"
Music was "noise"
People who had married were "captured"
People who had divorced were "liberated"
To give a mathematical lecture was "to preach"
To give an oral exam to a student was "to torture" him/her.


Stephen S said...

I often think that the key to success in any endeavor worth taking up is to take on board Erdos' maxim to believe in the book.

gide07 said...

Erdos never married?

Most interesting thing about him though, he was a speed freak.

ktistec said...

A not entirely accurate characterization, and one of the less interesting things about him.

alex 125 said...

Thanks for sharing
such an informative posts so keep it up man!!

Anonymous_IV said...

Today's NYTimes crossword reminded me of this:

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