Six degrees of separation

God Plays Dice wrote an interesting blog post asking whether Barack Obama has Erdos number.

I gave a light-hearted talk about six degrees of separation / Kevin Bacon / Paul Erdos at our majors’ dinner a couple of years ago. It was fun. It is truly remarkable how tightly connected we all are. Here are some personal connections that I found then (the Obama entry is new, obviously).


My Erdos number: 4 (see the MathSciNet collaboration distance calculator)


George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush

  • 4: One of my college roommate’s friends went to Colby College with and was a friend of Billy Bush
  • (now 3: using the path through Obama, below)

Bill Clinton

  • 3: My father was the doctor on call when then presidential hopeful and former Clinton-era Attorney General Janet Reno collapsed in Rochester, NY in 2002.

Barack Obama

Google founders

Sergey Brin

  • 2: His father, Misha Brin (a mathematician at the University of Maryland) has attended talks I’ve given

Larry Page

  • 2: My friend went to high school with him in Lansing, MI


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