Co-authoring with a Nobel laureate may lower one’s Erdös number

According to the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System (what I call ‘adsabs’), I have apparently co-authored a paper with Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek.  This, of course, was news to me until I realized that the system’s criteria for ‘paper’ and ‘co-author’ are pretty loose.  I wrote a letter to the editor of Physics Today a few years back challenging Wilczek on a point of fundamental physics and Wilczek was given the opportunity to respond.  Apparently this qualifies under adsabs as a co-authored paper.  So does this mean I can now claim that I have an Erdös number of 4?


5 thoughts on “Co-authoring with a Nobel laureate may lower one’s Erdös number

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  1. Hmmm, that’s a pretty odd system. I notice google scholar is listing me as a co-author on some odd papers. When I follow the link, I’m not an author, or even in the references, but the papers are always QIP. No idea what is going on there.

    When I read through this the first time I thought you had actually co-authored a paper. I had the pleasure of meeting Frank Wilczek at a college dinner a year or two ago, and had a very pleasant after dinner discussion about viola playing prospective Nobel laureates being murdered. Yes, I know that sounds weird. It was all a little surreal.

    Perhaps we should come up on something to work on together (CTCs?) to secure that Erdos number for you. Mine is 3 via Gilles Brassard.

  2. Joe, are you going to be at QIP in Zürich in January? I’ll actually be there this year so we could talk a bit then (or earlier, either way). Also, off the subject, but are you a fan of Porsches perhaps? I’m hoping to take a side trip to the Porsche museum in Stuttgart while I’m n Zürich (it’s about a 2 hour drive) and am looking for a bunch of people to join me.

  3. I’ll apply, but I don’t think I’ve quite got the habit of getting QIP talks accepted, and I’m unlikely to go without a talk. I have limited travel money, and will be using a chunk of it to go to FOCS.

    I’d definitely be up for the Porsche trip if I am there, though.

  4. Yeah, I’m a bit limited in my funding as well, but I managed to scrape a bit more out of my administration. I figure I’ll go anyway, even if I don’t get a talk accepted, since I think anyone can present a poster.

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