The Mathematical Nomad, Paul Erdős

When asked how to best describe his friend Paul Erdős (1913–1996)’, mathematician Joel Spencer (1946-) once wrote the following: “Mathematical truth is immutable; it lies outside physical reality … This is our belief; this is our core motivating force. Yet our attempts to describe this belief to our nonmathematical friends are akin to describing the Almighty to an atheist. Paul embodied this belief in mathematical truth. His enormous talents and energies were given entirely to the Temple of Mathematics. He harbored no doubts about the importance, the absoluteness, of his quest.”

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