Math Trivia and Answers

Challenge yourself with a Math Trivia Quiz!

Easy

What is Natalie Portman's Erdős number?

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Answer: 5
Portman collaborated (using her birth name, Natalie Hershlag) with Abigail A. Baird, who has a collaboration path (Gazzaniga, Michael S. -> Victor, Jonathan D.) leading to Joseph Gillis, who has an Erdős number of 1.

Easy

Which mathematician published more papers during his lifetime that any other mathematician in history?

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Answer: Paul Erdős
Erdős published at least 1,525 mathematical papers during his lifetime. He engaged more than 500 collaborators and devoted most of his time to mathematics up until his death in 1996 at the age of 83 years old.

Easy

What is the sum of the angles of a triangle?

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Answer: 180 degrees
The angles of a triangle always sum to 180 degrees.

Medium

What is Bertrand Russell's Erdős number?

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Answer: 3
Russell collaborated very little and no Erdös number can be found using research articles. But, as pointed out by Sachi Sri Kantha at "the Erdös number project" Russell and Albert Einstein did coauthor the Russell-Einstein "Peace" Manifesto of 1955.

Easy

Which mathematician has an Erdős number of zero (0)?

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Answer: Paul Erdős, of course!
As the Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" in authorship of mathematical papers between mathematician Paul Erdős and another person it is only natural that Paul Erdős holds this position.

Easy

What is a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper positive divisors (excluding the number itself) called?

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Answer: A perfect number.
You might also think of a perfect number as a number that is half the sum of all of its positive divisors, including itself! This definition is at least 2300 years old as it appears in Euclid's "Elements".



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