Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Erdős–Bacon Number

Mayim Bialik’s Erdos-Bacon number is 7.  Dr. Bialik was the central character in the 1990's sitcom Blossom and now plays Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on my now-favorite television comedy, The Big Bang Theory.  In between, she earned a doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA.  Wikipedia

Mayim Bialik’s Erdos-Bacon number is 7.  Mine is non-existent.  Apparently, so is Kevin Bacon’s (the ‘Bacon’ of the Erdős-Bacon number) as he has presumably not authored a mathematical paper linking back to Erdős.  Too funny - Kevin Bacon can’t even play the game of which he is one half.

If we stretched a bit, I could have a Bacon number of 2, as I faithfully watched and was a fan of Bacon’s wife Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer.  And maybe I can finagle a math credit somehow for some of my grade school algebraic machinations.

A stretch, I know.

But aren’t scientists cute?  They’ve actually tried to make what is clearly a “I know somebody famous” exercise into a scholarly pursuit, labeling it an effort to measure the “small world phenomena in academia and entertainment” Wikipedia: Erdos-Bacon number The point of the exercise is to track your own degrees of separation from a mathematician and a movie star and add the two together to arrive at your own number.

In other words, I know somebody famous!  And I know them closer/better/with more bragging rights than you!

Like I said, it’s very cute.

Hey, I once saw John Larroquette in an airport in Toronto.

Better yet, I once chased Jimmy Fallon in his limo as he departed from an SNL taping.  You had to be there – let’s just say that a mom will do a lot for a beloved step-daughter, even at 2 a.m in NYC.  So – Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Bacon appeared in the same article in Deadline Hollywood

And I actually have been in a film (about peacemaking) and I’m pretty sure Kevin Bacon is a fan of world peace.  I know, I know, I really don’t get the concept, do I?

But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it: I have Bacon score of 2 and an Erdos score of 2 trillion (it takes awhile to get from my grade school self to Dr. Erdős), giving me an Erdős-Bacon score of 2 trillion and 2.

Top that!


  1. Wow! My two favorite shows as well - "The Closer" and the hysterically funny "Big Bang Theory"! Now I feel I must get my own Erdős-Bacon number. What fun!

  2. Whoops! I am a personal friend of someone who has authored numerous mathematical papers. I'm also a personal friend of someone who has appeared in a 1950s "cowboy" movie featuring Tom Mix as well as a made-for-TV movie. Does that count? I think not.. But still fun!