Six Degrees of Quant: Kevin Bacon and the Erdos Number Mystery

It's inside baseball for finance's brainiest brainiacs: the Erdos Number. 

The Erdos here is Paul Erdos, one or the most prolific mathematicians of the 20th century. Never heard of him? Then you clearly don't have an Erdos Number. 

For those in the know — which is to say, serious math whizzes — the Erdos Number measures what’s known as the "collaborative distance” between Erdos and another person, via the authorship of mathematical papers.

“It’s a fun thing, an inside joke that shows mathematicians have a sense of humor," said Peter Carr, the former head of market modeling at Morgan Stanley.

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