Monday, June 05, 2006

it's a small world after äll (that is, if you know eszter)

with Bill Clinton
(Note: Kieran beat me to posting about this.)

So, one variant on the six degrees of separation thing is that idea that everyone is six handshakes away from a President of the United States. In that respect, my own personal handshake number has been unknown, other than that I have not personally shaken hands with any president. Now, however, I am pleased to announce that it is certainly 2, as Eszter has shaken hands with Bill Clinton, and Eszter was all excited to teach me the official astrosociology-cadet secret handshake last year at the ASA meetings.

Strangely, I received word of Eszter reducing my Presidential-handshake number to 2 as I was proofing the article in which Eszter lowers my Erdös number to 4. (Your Erdös number is the number of collaborative articles it takes to get you to the mathematician Paul Erdös.)* The chain:

B Aronov, P Erdös, W Goddard, DJ Kleitman, M Klugerman, J Pach, L J Schulman. 1994. "Crossing Families" Combinatorica, 14(2), 127-34.

P Agarwal, B Aronov, J O'Rourke, C Schevon, 1997 "Star unfolding of a polytope with applications," SIAM. J. on Computing, 26(6) 1689-1713.

J Feigenbaum, E Hargittai, J O'Rourke. 1994. "Expanding the Pipeline, CRAW Database Aids Academic Recruiters" Computing Research News. September

J Freese, S Rivas, E Hargittai. 2006. "Cognitive Ability and Internet Use among Older Adults." Poetics

* Being Hungarian herself, Eszter will be scandalized when she sees I've spelled Erdös with an umlaut over the o instead of a tilde/double acute/titlo or whatever it is supposed to be, but I'm too tired for the diacritical inquiry required to figure out how to enter it in Blogger.


eszter said...

Nice save on the handshake bit.;-)

The tilde (long umlaut as we would call it in Hungarian, except that we don't actually call it an umlaut since it's a whole other letter) you can achieve by adding "tilde" where you otherwise add "uml".

Regarding relations to Erdõs, did I ever mention that I may actually be related to him, in the more traditional sense? His mother's last name was Wilhelm, from a Hungarian Jewish family in Slovakia. My grandfather was from a Hungarian Jewish family in Slovakia, and his last name was also Wilhelm. (That would be my paternal grandfather despite the name differences. My father changed his last name - only b/c his brother did so - so it's a bit hard to trace.) Given the small Jewish Hungarian population of that region, there is a good chance they were related.

eszter said...

PS. on the language ('cause it's such a good source of endless discussion), neither umlaut or tilde are completely correct so I might as well not be offended. The real letter (for o and u alike) just has two accents (like apostrophes) on it. Tilde works, because it looks like it. But in reality you wouldn't draw a curvy line of the sort. You'd add two marks, but that doesn't seem to exist for Web lettering.

Anonymous said...

has clinton turned to woodstock attendees for his security these days?

Anonymous said...

Erdős ?