Pál Erdős, one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, was born on 26 March 1913 in Budapest. A child prodigy, at the age of 4 he could already do multiplication with tripledigit numbers and independently discovered negative numbers. He fi rst appeared publicly on the mathematics scene at a national competition for secondary school students. He continued his studies at Pázmány Péter Catholic University and the Budapest University of Technology, attending lectures by both of these institution’s professors (Lipót Fejér, József Kürschák, Dénes Kőnig). Due to rising antiSemitism, he emigrated in 1934, fi rst taking a post doctoral position in Manchester,England, for 4 years before joining the worldfamous US Princeton Institute for Advanced Study in 1938. Starting from 1940 he had no permanent residence and spent his last 5060 years travelling. He felt as at home in England as he did in the United States or in his home country in Budapest. He was a member of eight scientifi c academies on four continents and held honorary degrees from around 15 universities. He lectured at hundreds of universities, inspiring he work of thousands of mathematicians. The superior quality of his research s evidenced his more than 1,400 publications and 24,500 citations, along with more than 500 coauthors, making him the world record holder among mathematicians. Erdős gained world renown at a young age with his surprisingly simple and elegant proof of Chebyshev’s theorem (that for all n≥3 there is a prime number between n and 2n). He is one of the most recognised fi gures domestically and internationally for his research and application of the fi eld of combinatorics. In 1983, at the age of 70 he was awarded the Wolf Prize in mathematics for his many achievements in the fi elds of number theory, combinatorics, probabilistic number theory, set theory and analysis, as well as his personal infl uence on the world’s mathematicians.
Front: The front of the coin features elements related to the mathematician’s work: the central motif is Chebyshev’s theorem “n < p < 2n”, which Erdős solved with simplicity and elegance, with a prime spiral depicted in the background. The compulsory design elements: the inscription ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’, the value numerals ‘7500’, the mint mark ‘BP’ and the mint year ‘2023’ are also on the obverse.
Back: The back of the coin bears a halfprofi le portrait of the worldfamous mathematician. To the right of the image is the legend “WOLFDÍJ • 1983” (Wolf Prize • 1983), which is common to all of the pieces in this series and denotes the year that Erdős won the prize. His name is written below this, with the years of his birth and death, “19131996”. The master mark of coin’s designer, sculptor Zoltán Kovács, is located to the right of the portrait.
date of issue: 2023.03.24.
