Dear All:
WARNING. If you are still working on the quiz, stop reading this since it
contains all the solutions and more.
QUESTION #1. True or false: one of Max Born's grandchildren is much more
famous than he is. I mean, incomparably more famous, leaves him in the dust
and even more.
ANSWER #1. True. Olivia Newton-John. See, e.g.,
http://www.onlyolivia.com/aboutonj/index.html
QUESTION #2. Who is the most famous mathematician buried in the city which,
among others, used to be called Leningrad?
ANSWER #2. Euler. See. e.g,
http://www.asergeev.com/pictures/archives/compress/2004/406/25.htm
QUESTION #3. True or false: the person buried nearby Euler is way more
famous than he is.
ANSWER #3. True. See below.
QUESTION #4. True or false: if the answer to question #3 is "true", then is
the person uniquely defined?
ANSWER #4. True. E.g., Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and
Rimsky-Korsakov. St. Petersburg's Alexander Nevsky Monastery. See., e.g.,
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Alexander-Nevsky-Monastery
QUESTION #5. Who is the most famous mathematician born in the city which,
among others, used to be called Leningrad?
ANSWER #5. Georg Cantor. See, e.g.,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Cantor
QUESTION #6. On the grand scale of things, which mathematician is more likely
to be remembered in the 4th millennium, Euler or the one from question #5?
ANSWER #6. TBA on January 1, 3001.
QUESTION #7. Who is the most famous mathematician who was born less than 1 km
away from the place where I was born? ["place" means the house of the parents
not the hospital]
ANSWER #7. John von Neumann. See, e.g.,
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Von_Neumann.html
[I could not find the picture of the house but we all know they were very
rich, they even purchased the title "von"]
N.B. My brother was born in the {\bf same} house where the Renyis lived.
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Renyi.html
N.B. My father was a schoolmate of Turan and one of my nephews went to the
same school too. See., e.g.,
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Turan.html
http://www.math.technion.ac.il/hat/grunwald.html
N.B. My above mentioned nephew is now the Editor-in-Chief of the Hungarian
Edition of Playboy and more Hungarians know him than all the Hungarian
mathematicians combined. See., e.g.,
http://www.marquard-media.com/hu/menperiodical/playboy/concept.de.html
http://www.pestiside.hu/archives/playmates_in_pornland_why_even_hungary_loves_playboy000181.php
QUESTION #8. Who is the most famous physicist who was born less than 1 mile
away from the place where I was born? Is he defined uniquely? ["place" means
the house of the parents not the hospital]
ANSWER #8. Well, the answer is not unique. Take you pick: Wigner or Teller or
Szilard. See, e.g.,
http://nobelprize.org/physics/laureates/1963/wigner-bio.html
http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/bios/teller.html
http://www.dannen.com/chronbio.html
N.B. Probably Szilard wins the prize in being the closest to my house. It's
less than 1 km.
QUESTION #9. Who is the most famous person who was born less than 1 km away
from the place where I was born? ["place" means the house of the parents not
the hospital]
ANSWER #9. I'd say, it's a tie between Theodore Herzl and Houdini. See, e.g.,
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Herzl.html
and
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/vshtml/vshchrn.html
N.B. One of my nephews went to the same school as Herzl. It's next to the
Math. Institute in Budapest.
N.B. Probably Houdini is the most famous Hungarian of all time [Attila the
Hun was not Hungarian and neither was Julius Caesar].
QUESTION #10. Is Peter Lax more famous than his uncle? Is he also richer?
Well, we know that Peter is more alive.
ANSWER #10. You decide. I say it's a tie. The mystery person is Gabor Szego.
QUESTION #11. If we pick the best soccer player mathematician and the best
soccer player physicist in the history of mankind, then the brother of which
one is more famous?
ANSWER #11. Harald Bohr has a more famous soccer playing brother then Niels
Bohr. However, Niels' brother was even a better soccer player than Harald's
brother. See, e.g.,
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Bohr_Harald.html
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Bohr_Niels.html
QUESTION #12. Who is the most famous mathematician buried in Columbus, Ohio?
ANSWER #12. Not Tibor Rado because he neither died nor was buried in Columbus,
see
http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/history/biographies/rado/
and not Hans Zassenhaus who died in Columbus but was buried in Hamburg,
Germany, see
http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/history/biographies/zassenhaus/
So who is this mystery person? I vote for G\'eza Freud, see
http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/history/biographies/GezaFreud.html
It is interesting to see if any of my aspiring, or should I say, expiring,
colleague will be so kind as to change the answer to this question in the
upcoming years.
QUESTION #13. Who is the most famous mathematician buried in Bloomington,
Indiana?
ANSWER #13. Max Zorn. See, e.g.,
http://www.math.hope.edu/newsletter/2004-05/newsletter03-11.html
http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/%7Ehistory/Mathematicians/Zorn.html
Also ran, Eberhard Frederich Ferdinand Hopf, see, e.g.,
http://www.indiana.edu/~libarch/trustees/sep0983.shtml
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Hopf_Eberhard.html
QUESTION #14. Who is the most famous mathematician born in Columbia,
Missouri?
ANSWER #14. Norbert Wiener. See, e.g.,
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Wiener_Norbert.html
QUESTION #15. Who is the most famous mathematician born in the the Polish
equivalent of Gottingen?
ANSWER #15. Not Banach or any of the other Lwow celebrities, but Stanislaw
Ulam. See, e.g.,
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/s/st/stanislaw_marcin_ulam.htm
QUESTION #16. Who is the most famous mathematician whose co-author killed
more people than the Unabomber?
ANSWER #16. Is it Hadamard, Mittag-Leffler, Polya, or Henri Cartan? You
decide. See, e.g.,
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Bloch.html
QUESTION #17. [WARNING: X-rated] Who is the most famous mathematician I ever
talked to while both of us were relieving ourselves?
ANSWER #17. Well, there are still many in the running, literally, but I will
mention my own personal hero, Antoni Zygmund.
LAST QUESTION. Have you ever seen a quiz better than this one?
ANSWER. You decide.
/PaulN (paul@nevai.us)
P.S. Feel free to distribute this quiz as long as you leave the text intact.
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