Assistant Professor, Penn State University
Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Miscellaneous Academic Nerdery

Academic Lineage

Contrary to popular belief, Psychology as a science does not actually trace its roots to Sigmund Freud. Freud is considered the father of Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis by many, but has little to do with the science of psychology.

Instead, experimental psychologists tend to trace their scientific lineage to Wilhelm Wundt, who started the study of experimental psychology as a whole. As such, here is my academic lineage:

  • Wilhelm Wundt
  • Charles Spearman
  • Raymond Cattell
  • John R. Nesselroade
  • Steven M. Boker
  • Timothy R. Brick (Me!)

Erdös Number

Paul Erdös was an itinerant mathematician who's famous for being prolific and having a large number of co-authors. The story goes that he would just show up on someone's doorstep one day, collaborate on a few papers, and then move on. There's a certain amount of prestige in having a co-authorship path to Erdös, which is termed a person's Erös Number. Mine is 4.

  1. Erdös, P, Hell, P, & Winkler, P. (1989). Bandwidth versus bandsize. Graph theory in memory of G. A. Dirac (Sandbjerg, 1985), 117--129, Annals of Discrete Mathematics, 41.
  2. Feder, T, Hell, P; Jonsson, P, Krokhin, A, & Nordh, G. (2010). Retractions to pseudoforests. SIAM Journal of Discrete Mathematics. 24(1).
  3. Bodirsky, M, & Nordh, G, von Oertzen, T (2009): Integer programming with 2-variable equations and 1-variable inequalities. Information Processing Letters, 109(11).
  4. von Oertzen, T & Brick, T R. (2013). Efficient Hessian Computation Using Sparse Matrix Derivatives in RAM Notation. Behavioral Research Methods.

There's also an argument to be made that I have a Bacon number of 3, giving me an Erdös-Bacon number of 7, on par with Natalie Portman. But it's not a very good argument, so I won't make it.

Contact Info

Timothy R. Brick
Penn State University
231 Health & Human Development
University Park, PA 16802, USA
Office: (+1) (814) 865-4868
email: tbrick at psu dot edu