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Whilst looking at the Wikipedia pages for some well known mathematicians I was surprised at how many of them were advised by other recognisable mathematicians. In some cases I could back track 5 or more mathemaicians I recognised just through Advisors.

Is there a website or database etc that has collated this in some sort of "family tree" style format? I think it would be interesting to see visually how interconnected the influential mathematicians of the past were.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, this database is called "Math Genealogy", genealogy.math.ndsu.nodak.edu. Enjoy. BTW it is not surprising that well known mathematicians come from well known advisers:-) Exceptions from this rule are more surprising. $\endgroup$ Oct 17 '20 at 1:21
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    $\begingroup$ This database is fun to browse, but infuriatingly quirky. Since Cambridge University lists 2 supervisors per degree, if you have 1 Cambridge "ancestor" you probably have 2^n. And the concept of "advisor" has changed over time. And "horizontal" connections (of the sort Erdos made famous) are not represented. $\endgroup$ Oct 17 '20 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ @kimchilover your comment is so important that I want to both emphasize it and elaborate. Our current PhD system is inspired by the german model from the early 19th century. France and Britain did not have the same system until late 19th century for France and early 20th century for Britain (I don't know about other places). So the database is good for the 20th century, but before that it contains educated guesses for people outside Germany. Cambridge is notorious for that, one of the listed supervisors is typically the person's tutor for the math tripos. $\endgroup$ Oct 17 '20 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexandreEremenko the most frequent exceptions (not-well known from not-well known) may be less surprising than the more exceptional exceptions :-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Oct 18 '20 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ @kimchi lover: Yes, very much can be said about deficiencies and inconsistencies of this database. Still, overall, on my opinion this is a very entertaining and sometimes useful thing. $\endgroup$ Oct 18 '20 at 13:18
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Yes, this database is called "Math Genealogy", genealogy.math.ndsu.nodak.edu. Its value and reliability has been much discussed, but on my opinion, it is useful and entertaining. AMS is probably of the same opinion: it includes links to it in MathScinet.

Some points of criticism are the following: the notions of PhD degree and PhD adviser is relatively recent; it did not exist in all countries at all times, though the database covers some people back to 15 century.

Until 18 century mathematics was not a profession, so inevitably the database contains many people who cannot be called mathematicians, or mathematicians who earned a degree for other things.

The data about 19-20 centuries PhD does not cover various countries uniformly.

With all these drawbacks, one still can learn something interesting from this database.

BTW it is not surprising that well known mathematicians come from well known advisers:-) Exceptions from this rule are more surprising.

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