Whilst I’m in the area of ‘influences’ I thought it would be interesting to examine a few subnetworks within the large network of everyone. This time I set my scopes on mathematicians. There is no primary reason why other than – I can. I’ve long been interested in the history of mathematics and so I wondered what a network of great mathematicians actually looked like? Could there be underlying structures between mathematicians who have influenced each other over history? This time I used Freebase which has an excellent query system which enables you to pull out information on pretty much… anything! I focused on the Influence Node for this task. I set a few filters such as; everyone in the network has to have ‘Profession’ = ‘Mathematician’. This removes a lot of fluff and creates a nice csv file which is useable within Gephi. As usual I had to do a bit of cleaning up in Microsoft Excel but here you have it (click images to enlarge or click here for dynamic zoom of the entire network):
Interestingly, after applying the Modularity, a few little subnetworks within the mathematician network appear. Many of the ‘traditional’ mathematicians cluster together; i.e. Gauss, Jacobi, Riemann, Dedekind etc.
There are other networks – see if you can spot why certain names are clustered together (e.g. linguistics, algebra, philosophy etc).
Again before you leave, you must be made aware of the caveats!
1. There are only nodes for which there was available data. There are obviously a great number of influential mathematicians missing from the network.
2. I had to restrict to Profession = Mathematician and this might be too restricting in that if a mathematician in the database doesn’t have their profession set, then they would have been excluded.
3. There may be some contamination as I found Ralph Emerson, Mohammed and Buddha in amongst the mathematicians which I hate to say it – just aren’t. I tried to clear up these contaminants but there still might be residuals. Feel free to point these out.
4. It is a graph of influence between people, not a graph of how influential they were on mathematics!
Onwards and upwards.