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School of Mathematics

Trivia

Well you did ask, so....

A Big Happy Family
As the twenty-first (and last) doctoral student of John Fountain, I live on a remote peninsula in the mathematical genealogy which is inhabited almost entirely by semigroup theorists. My siblings still in the mathematical world include João Araújo, Victoria Gould, Mark Lawson, Lucinda Lima, Ana Oliveira and Laila Tunsi, while Peter Hines and Chris Hollings are my nephews.

The peninsula was once thought to be an island, but recent research has established a causeway via Walker to Whittaker, so we are (like just about everyone else!) ultimately descended from Newton. The photo on the right (taken at the Fountainfest in 2006) shows more than half the peninsula's population at the time, including the fountain of wisdom himself and a dozen of my mathematical brothers and sisters! A mystery prize goes to the first person who can identify everybody in the picture.*

My Erdős number remains stubbornly stuck at 4, but is at least quite strongly 4, in that I have at least six different collaborators with Erdős number 3 and at least forty-one distinct routes of length 4 leading to Erdős.

* Standard terms and conditions apply. Those featured in the picture and their families are not eligible to participate. No cash alternative. The organiser reserves the right to substitute for the unspecified prize an alternative prize of substantially lower or zero value. Prize must be collected in person from the organiser's office between 10:37 and 10:39 on the second Wednesday following a blue moon in a month with no "r". Nothing mentioned or not mentioned here or elsewhere shall be construed as placing the organiser under any obligation to do anything whatsoever under any circumstances at all.

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