24 June 2010

My Einstein and Erdős numbers

Although it's rather silly (who cares? what does it mean? why bother?), I was informed today that my Einstein number is 5 and my Erdős number is 3:

Takis Konstantopoulos coauthored with Paavo Salminen MR2488533 (2010d:60205)
Paavo Salminen coauthored with Endre Csáki MR0891709 (88k:60145)
Endre Csáki coauthored with Paul Erdős MR0771472 (86f:60086)
Paul Erdős coauthored with Ernst Gabor Straus MR0058863 (15,437d)
Ernst Gabor Straus coauthored with Albert Einstein MR0012947 (7,87j)

It's always amusing to me that people feel the need to attach themselves to someone important in order to feel important themselves. You hear people saying "I have met so and so". Or: "My great-grandfather was an important mathematician". And at times: "God spoke to me last night and gave me a message".

But the silliest thing of all, is the attaching of abbreviations after one's name. For instance,
Prof. Xyie Ziabwi [say...], CBE,  PhD, MSc, BSc, FeFA, FeIAs, FeSS, FeIMA.
The more acronyms someone attaches to one's name, the more important he/she feels. 

Oh, the futile seeking of a bit of fame!

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant