Paul Erdos was a Hungarian born mathematician famous for his brilliantly elegant proofs of seemingly unsolvable mathematical problems, especially in the area of numbers theory. He founded the field of discrete mathematics, the foundation of computer science, and was one of the most prolific mathematicians in history.


So thoroughly did Erdos devote himself to mathematics that he never married, acquired no property beyond a change of clothes ("Property is a nuisance."), and he refused to stay tied down to a job because it would limit his ability to focus on mathematical problems and to collaborate with distant colleagues. Instead he traveled from one place to another, living out of a half-empty suitcase, staying with fellow mathematicians and sharing ideas from one place to the next. Whatever money he acquired was soon given away, sometimes to charities but often as prizes to those who solved the difficult mathematical problems he set them (though many preferred to frame, rather than spend, their winnings).

He died of heart failure on September 20, 1996 while working on yet another mathematical problem.

Read more about Paul Erdos at www.nndb.com.