25 March 2010

My 27th-generation advisor is Elissaeus Judaeus

Mathematical ancestors of Penn math faculty, from October 1999. (This was the department's 100th anniversary.) This lists the advisor's advisor's advisor's... until historical data that was (easily?) available at that time gave out. The longest-ago person listed on this page is Otto Mencke (Ph. D. 1665, 12 generations from Penn professor Stephen Shatz); most chains die out in the 19th century.

As of right now, the math genealogy project claims to know that my advisor's 26th-generation advisor is Elissaeus Judaeus (who was a student in the 1380s). Most mentions of Judaeus on the Internet seem to be by other people who have discovered this (Judaeus has 77000 or so mathematical descendents). But this post from the person who added him to the database gives some background -- he was for the most part a philosopher, it seems. He is described as "a mysterious figure who may or may not have been a Jew". His student Gemistus Pletho seems a little better understood; Wikipedia says "He was one of the chief pioneers of the revival of Greek learning in Western Europe." It seems that in that time a lot more data has been collected for the 14th through 17th centuries.

(As for me, hopefully in a few weeks it'll be possible to add me to the mathematical genealogy project. I defend on April 15.)

1 comment:

Shampoo said...

Wish you the very best for the defence!