Deborah Heiligman and LeUyam Pham, the author and illustrator respectively of the picture book biography of mathematician Paul Erdos smash it out of the park. The story of the brilliant, over-protected, highly collaborative genius is a fun one. Erdos who was supremely comfortable with numbers collaborated with over 500 mathematicians all over the world in his time, contributing to a wonderful cross-pollination of ideas. For Erdos his first and only love was Maths.
Paul was a child who knew his mind quite early on. Doted on by his mathematician mother, Paul chose not to attend school. He was instead raised under the care of his nanny. His mother and nanny ensured Paul could spend most of his time with his beloved math and they tended to his every need.
A young Paul made up his mind quite early on that e wouldn't marry because it would take him away from his work. Instead he travelled, lived and collaborated with fellow mathematicians. He helped work on their math problems and put them in touch with other based on common mathematical interests.
This led to the evolution of the Erdős number (Hungarian: [ˈɛrdøːʃ]) which describes the "collaborative distance" between mathematician Paul Erdős and the mathematicians who collaborated with him on various mathematical papers. This number is now used in situations where a person has collaborated with several peers.
He ended up writing more than 1500 papers and was interested greatly in prime numbers. He also worked on a variety of topics in math -set theory, number theory and geometry to name a few. Paul absolutely loved Math and worked on it right upto the very end. For him Math was not a rigid subject but an arena of infinite possibilities.
The Boy Who Loved Math is a picture book that introduces young children to this prolific genius.
- Age Range: 5 - 8 years
- Lexile Measure: 550L