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I was recently doing some reading on Wikipedia, and I noticed that if you go far enough though Isaac Newton's notable students' students' students. . . (and so on), eventually one was Augustus De Morgan's adviser, and one who was J.J. Thomson's adviser. There seems to be a great linkage between all of these famous scientists (and it begs the question: can good advisers create more good students, or do good students successfully get good advisors?). Are there any particularly interesting links between famous mathematicians or other scientists?

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Well, both. One the one hand, a good student is more likely to seek F. Amos Guy as adviser than to seek Uthar Lee Nondescript, and a promising student has better chances to be accepted by Mr Guy than a nondescript or bad student. On the other hand, a good teacher and adviser can tickle out more from her/his students than a mediocre one. – Daniel Fischer Aug 19 '14 at 19:34
Not exactly relevant, but not irrelevant either: the Erdős–Bacon number. – Malvolio Aug 19 '14 at 23:08
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You probably already know this, but just in case:

Mathematics Genealogy Project

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Actually, I'm quite amazed that I've never heard of that site. Thanks! – user28375028 Aug 19 '14 at 19:22
You'll all be happy to know that I have a direct line (through my calc II teacher last semester) of knowledge coming directly from Euler, Gauss, Laplace, Bernoulli, Hilbert, and Fourier. Truly remarkable when you think about it. – user28375028 Aug 19 '14 at 19:46
@user160931: Cool! I can "only" claim (through my thesis advisor) Hegel, Schelling, Fichte, Kant, Mersenne, Leibniz, Melanchthon and van Ceulen... :) – Frunobulax Aug 19 '14 at 20:05
Wow, I got Gauss, Poisson, Dirichlet, Fourier, Laplace and Lagrange. And I do engineering, not maths. MGP is an awesome site. – kbau Aug 19 '14 at 20:47

I suggest you take a look at the Mathematics genealogy project and get lost following all fascinating links and finding famous mathematicians. The tree on the front page is already stunning.

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