Posted on: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 21:44 By: dae

Mr. Peam thinks that taking a Dept. of Math Course "Modern Geometry" is a nice idea and he succeed in convincing me. Today we met the instructor, Dr. Nataphan. From browsing in the web, other two faculties in the Math Dept. that also do geometry are Dr. Wacharin & Dr. Phichet. Dr. Wacharin turns out to be a friend of our Master and Dr. Phichet is also an alumnus of UIUC. After browsing Dr. Phichet's page, there is a link to a mathematical genealogy.

Well, it simply a hierarchy bloodline of "teacher-student" in mathematic. Hmm. Quite interesting. It records who is a pupil of who.

Ok, its turn out that Dr. Wacharin is a 10th-order grand student of the famous Carl Frederick Gauss (maybe best known amongst us for Gaussian Distribution). That is not a surprise. There are around 100,000 ppl in the Math Genealogy and Gauss has around 30,000 great great grand students. There is approximately 30% chance that a mathematician you come across is in a direct bloodline of Gauss.

There also exists more interesting thing. For example. We all know Turing, Alan Turing. We also learned about Church theorem, saying, "Every 'function which would naturally be regarded as computable' can be computed by a Turing machine". At first, I believe that Church followed the work of Turing but no, it is the other way around. Turing is a student of Church. And so is Kleene (from Kleene star operator).

Talking about Turing also reminds me of John von Neumann who is a student of Fejér. I don't know this guy but he (Fejer) is an advisor of Polya (remember the famous "How to Solve It"?).

Another one was when I searched for Lagrange. He is a student of Euler (remember Euler path?) who is, in turn, a student of Jakob Bernoulli. No, Jakob is not the Bernoulli that we familiar with in Physics but he is an uncle of Daniel Bernoulli that introduced the Bernoulli principle of fluid (saying pressure and velocity is inversely proportional). Moreover, Lagrange has several promising students such as Poisson (Poisson distribution) and Fourier. Both Poisson and Fourier advised Dirichlet (the pigeon hole principle) who taught Kronecker (Kronecker Delta Function). This is a nice bloodline.

OK, let us take a look at AI field. Start with the famous Minski. From the Jargon File, we know that Sussman (the creator of Scheme) is his student. However, Minski also advised other great student such as B.K.P. Horn (the Robot Vision book) and Blum. Blum is a teacher of Micali and Goldwasser who, together with Rackoff propose the famous proof of knowledge. Micali is also a teacher of Phil Rogaway, once a visiting professor at our department. If my memory still serves, our dear Rattapon (CP24) should ever be in his class at UC Davis.

These things are never taught in the book. It is fun reading the history of these bloodline. Just like the fun reading the footnote of each name in the Discrete Math. textbook of Rosen that we all love.

This took almost 2 hour of my time today T_T.