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Elvis Chidera

The Erdós Paradox — Paper Summary

summary, paper, math1 min read

Today's summary is about a paper written by Melvyn B. Nathanson in 2018.


  1. First paradox: Erdös did not work in and never learned the central core of twentieth-century mathematics. Erdös apparently knew nothing about Lie groups, Riemannian manifolds, algebraic geometry, algebraic topology, global analysis, or the deep ocean of mathematics connected with quantum mechanics and relativity theory. How could a great mathematician not want to study these things?
  2. The first paradox begs the question: How much does one need to know to be a great mathematician?
  3. Second paradox: Erdös methods and results, considered marginal in the twentieth century, have become central in twenty-first-century mathematics.
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