Erdos Essay, Research Paper

Justin Andrews

Erd s

Paul Erdos was born in Budapest, Hungary on march 26,1913. He was the son of Lajos and his mother Anna Both parents were math teachers. Which is most likely where Paul received his math influence. His sisters died of scarlet fever around the time he was born this making his parents very protective of little Paul during his childhood. His mother Anna being so protective that he was kept out of school until his teens. His mother felt school was the source of childhood contagion and he was tutored at home.

But before the age that it was necessary to get education Paul had plenty of time on his hands. He spent this time doing mental arithmatic. At three years old he was multiplying three-digit numbers in his head, to amuse visitors he would ask their ages and compute how many seconds they had lived. Around the age of four he started looking for patterns to the prime numbers. Such as 2,3,5,7,11 etc. Which are divisible only by themselves and the number 1.

While young man he began a life devoted to uncovering mathematical truth. He decided to become a mathematical monk , he renounced material possessions and sexual pleasure. He wanted to stray away from the norm wether it was socialy or in his mathematics.

For six decades as an adult and prolific mathematician he lived out of a ratty suitcase, criss-crossing four continents at a grueling pace. He moved from one university or research center to the next, in search of good mathematical problems and rising new talent.

During his travels in 1845 Erdos worked with Bertrand. The Bertrand conjecture said that there was always at least one prime number between n and 2n for n > 2. He made an understandable proof of this result. He can also be associated with the Prime number theorem. Paul and another mathematician named Chebyshev came close to a proof , but it was not proved until 1896 by two other mathematicians.

To narrow down what Erdos was, he was a solver of problems, not a builder of theories as many would like to think. He was mostly attracted to problems in combinatories, graph theory, and number theory. His idea was not just to solve problems but to solve them in an elegant and also elementary way. Instead of providing a proof containing a complicated sequence of steps which didn t provide understanding; he provided insight into why results were true.

Erdos concentrated on discrete mathematics, he posed and solved problems that were simple to understand but extremely difficult to solve.

Many would look at Paul Erdos at the finaly of his life and think he was a man with no life, no family, no home, no hobby, no love. It turns out that numbers and mathematics fulfilled all of those needs.

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