# Paul Erdős

## Hungarian mathematician (1913–1996) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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**Paul Erdős** (Hungarian: *Erdős Pál* [ˈɛrdøːʃ ˈpaːl]; 26 March 1913 – 20 September 1996) was a Hungarian mathematician. He was one of the most prolific mathematicians and producers of mathematical conjectures^{[2]} of the 20th century.^{[3]} Erdős pursued and proposed problems in discrete mathematics, graph theory, number theory, mathematical analysis, approximation theory, set theory, and probability theory.^{[4]} Much of his work centered around discrete mathematics, cracking many previously unsolved problems in the field. He championed and contributed to Ramsey theory, which studies the conditions in which order necessarily appears. Overall, his work leaned towards solving previously open problems, rather than developing or exploring new areas of mathematics.

*Erdős Pál*. This article uses Western name order when mentioning individuals.

**Quick Facts**Born, Died ...

Paul Erdős | |
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Born | (1913-03-26)26 March 1913 Budapest, Austria-Hungary |

Died | 20 September 1996(1996-09-20) (aged 83) Warsaw, Poland |

Nationality | Hungarian |

Alma mater | Royal Hungarian Pázmány Péter University |

Known for | Namesakes A very large number of results and conjectures (more than 1,500 articles), and a very large number of coauthors (more than 500) |

Awards | Wolf Prize (1983/84) AMS Cole Prize (1951) |

Scientific career | |

Fields | Pure mathematics |

Institutions | |

Doctoral advisor | Lipót Fejér |

Doctoral students | |

Erdős published around 1,500 mathematical papers during his lifetime, a figure that remains unsurpassed.^{[5]} He firmly believed mathematics to be a social activity, living an itinerant lifestyle with the sole purpose of writing mathematical papers with other mathematicians. He was known both for his social practice of mathematics, working with more than 500 collaborators, and for his eccentric lifestyle; *Time* magazine called him "The Oddball's Oddball".^{[6]} He devoted his waking hours to mathematics, even into his later years—indeed, his death came at a mathematics conference in Warsaw.^{[7]} Erdős's prolific output with co-authors prompted the creation of the Erdős number, the number of steps in the shortest path between a mathematician and Erdős in terms of co-authorships.