6
$\begingroup$

I hope this question is not inappropriate for this site; I found hsm.stackexchange better suited for it than MathOverflow or math.stackexchange. The motivation for it is just curiosity.

Question: Which mathematical papers have been co-authored by people who were / are direct blood relatives (i.e. supposedly in most cases: siblings, or parent and child)?

Everyone knows the Bernoullis (among the famous ones of which there were also uncle-nephew and cousin relations), but I'm looking for more, and more contemporary, examples.

More generally, I would be interested in family collaboration, but I ask specifically for co-authored papers because that's the most obvious way to make the notion rigorous.

Also, I exclude collaboration between partners, spouses, married couples etc. on purpose, partly because I assume that list would be longer, and partly because such relations have (sometimes vague) start (or end) points in time, allowing discussion about whether a collaboration happened while the relationship existed or not; unless of course there might be an example where e.g. a parenting couple published something together with a child of theirs.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A family collaboration: Lionel and Roger Penrose published Impossible Objects, the famous "Tribar" but it is not strictly mathematical. $\endgroup$ – sand1 Feb 22 at 19:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Actually, I was wondering about Janos Bolyai whose father (Farkas) tried to keep him off from working on the parallel postulate - is this a collaboration? Ultimately it was published as an appendix to a textbook by Farkas Bolyai.. $\endgroup$ – sand1 Feb 22 at 22:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Tangentially related: Hetherington co-authored a paper with his cat FCC Willard. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._D._C._Willard I am not sure if you would consider it family but if you don't you might hurt some people's feelings :P $\endgroup$ – Dvij Mankad Mar 17 at 2:15
12
$\begingroup$

Check out these mathematicians: A father, and two sons, all of whom co-authored papers in various combinations.

David Borwein, father

Peter Borwein, son

Jonathan Borwein, son

Peter's memorial to his brother Jonahan, in which he speaks of writing papers together with his brother.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ +1 Darn, I definitely should have remembered them, as I have quite a few papers by these guys! $\endgroup$ – Dave L Renfro Feb 22 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know how I forgot them. $\endgroup$ – José Carlos Santos Feb 23 at 0:07
9
$\begingroup$

Elie and Henri Cartan (father and son) published a paper together, in 1931 (Les transformations des domaines cerclés bornés).

$\endgroup$
9
$\begingroup$

Arthur Leonard Rubin co-authored at least two papers with his mother, Jean Estelle Hirsh Rubin, the first one below when he was 13 years old.

Arthur L. Rubin and Jean E. Rubin, Extended operations and relations on the class of ordinal numbers, Fundamenta Mathematicae 69 #2 (1969), 227-242.

Paul Howard, Arthur L. Rubin, and Jean E. Rubin, Kinna-Wagner selection principles, axioms of choice and multiple choice, Monatshefte für Mathematik 123 #4 (December 1997), 309-319.

$\endgroup$
7
$\begingroup$

Luis Alvarez and his son Walter, and two other chemists, co-authored this 1980 paper on iridium levels at the K/T boundary. The Alvarezes conjectured the now widely accepted impact hypothesis explaining that extinction event.

Another example: Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers co-developed MBTI (I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether that is science).

$\endgroup$
7
$\begingroup$

Brothers Marcel and Frigyes Riesz have a joint paper,

Brothers Rolf and Frithiof Nevanlinna have 6 joint papers.

Brothers Alexander and Alexei Zamolodchikov have 8 joint papers.

Brothers David and Gregory Chudnovsky have 80 joint papers.

This list can be made very long.

Father-son collaborations are not so frequent but Herman Weyl has a paper and a book written jointly with his son Joachim.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, "the F & M Riesz theorem" is quite well known. $\endgroup$ – Gerald Edgar May 9 at 12:47
6
$\begingroup$

Ken Ono published a paper with his father Takashi Ono in 1996: ``Quadratic forms and elliptic curves, III'' in Proc. Japan Acad. Ser. A Math. Sci. 72 (1996), no. 9, 204–205.

$\endgroup$
5
$\begingroup$

Richard K. Guy - well known for work in recreational mathematics, and son Michael J. T. Guy - computer scientist and mathematician, co-published the paper "On rational Morley triangles" in Acta Arithmetica.

Authors: Bremner, Andrew; Goggins, Joseph R.; Guy, Michael J. T.; Guy, R. K. (2000).

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

There are four Polish brothers ( Ryszard, Pawel, Michal and Karol Horodecki) all working in quantum information science, and they have several common papers.

Their most cited paper (with $>5000$ Google Scholar citations at the time of writing) is

Horodecki, R., Horodecki, P., Horodecki, M., & Horodecki, K. (2009). Quantum entanglement. Reviews of modern physics, 81(2), 865.

This one (without brother Karol)

Horodecki, Michał, Paweł Horodecki, and Ryszard Horodecki. "Separability of n-particle mixed states: necessary and sufficient conditions in terms of linear maps." Physics Letters A 283.1-2 (2001): 1-7.

has collected a little under 4000 Google citations at the time of writing.

They also all work at Gdańsk University.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

Greg Kuperberg, mathematician and son of the couple of mathematicians Wlodymierz and Krystina Kuperberg, published, separately, a paper with his father on geometric combinatorics, at the very start of his career (1990) and later on a relevant paper (Annals of Math - 1996) on counterxamples to the Seifert conjecture with his mother. Later on he published yet another paper with his father and a third coauthor.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.