An unexpected connection to Paul Erdős

In September, 2014, I was invited by Prof. Richard Schweickert (at Purdue University) to present on my current research, which uses network science to investigate language processing. This visit was made possible by funds that Benjamin J. Winer (a Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University, known for his work in statistical analysis in the social sciences--perhaps you've used his textbook) left to Purdue to support a lecture series in Mathematical Psychology.

During that visit, I learned that Prof. Lisa Goffman, whom I had known previously via her work as a fellow language scientist and as an Associate Editor of the journal Language & Speech, was also the daughter of Casper Goffman (a Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University), who wrote the article on the Erdős number:

Goffman, Casper (1969). And what is your Erdős number? American Mathematical Monthly, 76, 791. doi:10.2307/2317868.


Here is a photo of me (on the right) with Lisa Goffman (on the left). She is holding a teaching award that her father (Casper Goffman) received, and I am holding a copy of Winer's book. Thanks to everyone at Purdue (past and present) who made this wonderful visit possible.