The erdős existence argument

Joel Spencer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Probabilistic Method is now a standard tool in the combinatorial toolbox but such was not always the case. The development of this methodology was for many years nearly entirely due to one man: Paul Erdős. Here we reexamine some of his critical early papers. We begin, as all with knowledge of the field would expect, with the 1947 paper Erdős P (1947) Some remarks on the theory of graphs. Bull Amer Math Soc 53:292–294 giving a lower bound on the Ramsey function R(k, k). There is then a curious gap (certainly not reflected in Erdős’s overall mathematical publications) and our remaining papers all were published in a single ten year span from 1955 to 1965.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Mathematics of Paul Erdos I, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781461472582
ISBN (Print)9781461472575
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics


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