Cataclysmic Mutation

Machine Learning and Whatever Else

Erdõs-Bacon Numbers

We were discussing Erdõs numbers and Erdõs-Bacon numbers yesterday at work. For the record, my Erdõs number is 4, through several different paths. My PhD advisor, Dipankar Dasgupta, published with Robert Kozma, who published with Béla Bollabás, who published with Erdõs. My number could easily have been a bit lower, as Erdõs spent significant amounts of time in Memphis. I studied in the department of Mathematical Sciences, where Erdõs had several prolific collaborators – both Bollabás and Ralph Faudree were both there and did a lot of work there. Several of my cohorts from graduate school have an Erdõs number of 3.

That leaves the Bacon number. I’ve never appeared in a film, so my Bacon number is infinite. I had a cousin with a Bacon number of two (Lisa Blount, who was in Needful Things with J.T. Walsh, who was in The Big Picture with Kevin Bacon), but that’s my closest brush with the rarefied air of finite Erdõs-Bacon numbers. There’s still hope though. Game of Thrones films in Iceland and often puts out calls for extras. It looks like nearly everyone in the cast has a Bacon number of 2, and while one probably isn’t supposed to count being an extra, if I appear as a Wildling “North of the Wall” in the next year or two, I will count the hell out of my Erdõs-Bacon 7.