## Erdös Numbers for Computer Graphics Researchers

If you have an interest in mathematics, you have probably heard about the
prolific mathematician Paul Erdös. It has become a pastime in
the math community to find out how many links through co-authored papers
it takes to get from a given mathematician to Erdös. Co-authors of
Erdös
have an Erdös Number of one, co-authors of his co-authors have an
Erdös
number of two, and so on.
Because computer graphics is founded on mathematics, it should come as no
surprise that a number of computer graphics researchers have low
Erdös
numbers. If you are a graphics researcher, how can you find your own
Erdös number? One way is to try the MathSciNet collaboration
distance calculator. I have not actually not had much luck with this
method for graphics researchers, however, most likely because the database
does not
containing many graphics publications. A better way is to start with the
list
of co-authors and
co-co-authors of Erdös. It is a long list, but a few of the people on
this list publish in the graphics community:

Agarwal, Pankaj Kumar

Bern, Marshall W.

Chazelle, Bernard M.

Dey, Tamal Krishna

Dobkin, David P.

Edelsbrunner, Herbert

Guibas, Leonidas J.

Hughes, John F.

Mitzenmacher, Michael

O'Rourke, Joseph

Snoeyink, Jack Scott

Each of the above people have an Erdös Number of two, and they all have
collaborated with a number of people in graphics. Note that many of them
are computational geometers, which is a subject that forms a bridge
between math and graphics. Using the
DBLP
Bibliography Server, I picked
out some names in the graphics field from their co-author
lists. The ACM Digital Library
would be another good way to find such co-authors.
The indented names below each have an Erdös Number of three.
If you publish in graphics, you probably can find someone among
them who is a short hop from you.

Agarwal, Pankaj Kumar

Brooks, Frederick P., Jr.

Cohen, Jonathan D.

Metaxas, Dimitris

Turk, Greg → Jessica Hodgins

Varshney, Amitabh

Bern, Marshall W.

Amenta, Nina

Grimm, Cindy

Chazelle, Bernard M.

Kazhdan, Michael → Hugues Hoppe

Rusinkiewicz, Szymon → Marc Levoy

Tal, Ayellet

Dey, Tamal Krishna

Bajaj, Chandrajit

Zorin, Denis

Dobkin, David P.

Finkelstein, Adam → Michael F. Cohen

Funkhouser, Thomas → Pat Hanrahan

Silver, Deborah

Sweldens, Wim

Edelsbrunner, Herbert

Hamann, Bernd

Lin, Ming C.

Manocha, Dinesh

Guibas, Leonidas J.

Adams, Bart

Gross, Markus → Heung-Yeung "Harry" Shum

Pai, Dinesh

Pauly, Mark

Pottmann, Helmut

Salesin, David → Donald Greenberg

Seidel, Hans-Peter

Veach, Eric

Hughes, John F.

Aliaga, Daniel

Barr, Alan

Barzel, Ronen

Cani, Marie-Paule

Durand, Fredo

Igarashi, Takeo

Ju, Tao

Laidlaw, David

Markosian, Lee

Matusik, Wojciech

McGuire, Morgan

Nayar, Shree

Pfister, Hanspeter

Raskar, Ramesh

van Dam, Andries

Zeleznik, Robert

Mitzenmacher, Michael

Marks, Joe

Owens, John

Sharf, Andrei

O'Rourke, Joseph

Badler, Norman

Snoeyink, Jack Scott

Alliez, Pierre

Isenberg, Martin

Lindstrom, Peter

van de Panne, Michiel

Pascucci, Valerio

Rossignac, Jarek

Shewchuk, Jonathan

The above list has been augmented by links (→) to a few
prolific graphics authors who have an Erdös Number of four.
## Erdös-Bacon Numbers

In the entertainment industry, the equivalent of the Erdös Number is
the Kevin Bacon Number. This is the number of links through feature films
that it takes to reach the actor Kevin Bacon. An actor who was in a film
with Kevin Bacon has a Bacon Number of one, and so on. There is, of course,
a Bacon Number calculator, The
Oracle of Bacon.
There is a small
group of people who have both an Erdös Number and a Bacon Number, and
the sum of these numbers is their Erdös-Bacon number. Believe it or not,
there is a
Wikipedia page on this topic. So far as I know, there is just one
person in the field of computer graphics who has an Erdös-Bacon Number.
That person is Randy Pausch. Randy
had a small part in the 2009 film Star Trek, in which the actor John
Cho also appeared. John Cho was in the 2007 movie The Air I Breath with
Kevin Bacon, which gives Randy Pausch a Bacon number of two. Randy
Pausch also has an Erdös number of four (Randy Pausch →
Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. → Pankaj Agarwal → (several) →
Erdös).
This gives Randy Pausch and Erdös-Bacon number of six.

Greg Turk, July 2009