Friday, June 8, 2007

Help me with my Erdos-Bacon Number

The Erdos part is easy -- Jim Cordy's is 4, so mine is at most 5. There's a researcher in China who graciously gave me a co-authorship for my baconizer data, but I can't think he'd be lower.

The Bacon part is harder. Documentaries count, but it seems shows like local TV newscasts and game shows don't. I was in an actual feature film shot at the about-to-be-decommisioned North Vancouver Secondary School. The filmmaker's first name was Laszlo, the year was most likely 1979, I was in one scene with a local actress named Joey, and I remember little else. Somewhere in there lies my Bacon component, probably around 5 or 6. I know that one of the people on the crew, Barbara Tranter, worked on Porky's. If assistants counted, that would give me a Bacon # of at most 3, for a B-E # of 8. But I think they don't.

The current record B-E # is 5, but that's easily lowered. All it takes is for someone with an Erdos # of 1 to offer to co-author a paper with an actor with a Bacon # of 1 (or even Mr. B himself), in exchange for a role in that actor's next film. Say a former grad student of Ronald Graham's were to form this dual-collaboration with Kevin Bacon, they'd each have a B-E# of 3 afterwards. It would be acceptable if the screenplay was about the thrills of writing a paper for publication, while the paper itself dealt with a topic like black-scholes approaches to financing dubious movies. In the film the mathematician character (the Erdos guy) should give the author character (the Bacon guy) a failing grade at some point. The movie should be called "3".


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