Encounters with Paul Erdős

  • A. H. Stone
Part of the Algorithms and Combinatorics book series (AC, volume 13)


My first encounter with Paul Erdős was curiously indirect. As a pre-undergraduate at Cambridge (England) in 1934, I learned from one of the Trinity College tutors that a mathematician named Erdős, passing through Cambridge, had mentioned an intriguing conjecture (attributed to Lusin, I believe), implying that a square could not be dissected into a finite number of unequal smaller square pieces. I passed this problem on to three fellow-students, and we eventually found methods that produced counterexamples ([1]). Of recent years the advent of high-speed computing has given rise to a considerable industry listing large numbers of dissections of squares into unequal squares ([2] and [6] for example), an industry that could continue indefinitely as there are infinitely many different dissections of this kind.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. H. Stone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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