Some of you may be familiar with the Erdos number in mathematics. This number is sort of a “degrees of separation”, in publication terms, from one Paul Erdos. I did a little surfing and found out that Prof. Heath’s Erdos number is about to become 6, if a recently submitted article is accepted.

Claude Shannon has an Erdos number of 3. Also, Bob Gallager published a couple papers with Shannon, one of them being:

Claude E. Shannon, Robert G. Gallager, Elwyn R. Berlekamp: Lower Bounds to Error Probability for Coding on Discrete Memoryless Channels. I Information and Control 10(1): 65-103 (1967)

One of Gallager’s students was Randall Berry:

Randall A. Berry, Robert G. Gallager: Communication over fading channels with delay constraints. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 48(5): 1135-1149 (2002)

Finally, a recently submitted article to IEEE Communications magazine is co-authored by Prof. Heath and Prof. Berry, collaboraters on the DARPA IT-MANET project:

J. G. Andrews, N. Jindal, M. Haenggi, R. Berry, S. Jafar, D. Guo, S. Shakkottai, R. W. Heath, Jr., M. Neely, S. Weber, A. Yener, P. Stone, “Rethinking Information Theory for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks,'’ submitted to IEEE Communications Magazine Dec. 2007.

If this is accepted, it will give anyone connected to Prof. Heath an Erdos number of at most 7. It’s amazing how connected we all are. Albert Einstein has an Erdos number of 2, so (at most) 9 papers separate us from Albert Einstein. Isn’t that crazy?

If you’re not a member of WSIL, what is your Erdos number?