# Daniel Kleitman

**Daniel J. Kleitman** (born October 4, 1934)[1][2][3] is an American mathematician and professor of applied mathematics at MIT. His research interests include combinatorics, graph theory, genomics, and operations research.

Daniel Kleitman FAAAS | |
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Daniel Kleitman, 1967 | |

Born | 4 October 1934 |

Alma mater | |

Scientific career | |

Fields | Combinatorics |

Institutions | |

Thesis | Static Properties of Heavy Fermi-Particles; Deuteron-Nucleon Scattering at High Energies |

Doctoral advisor | Julian Schwinger, Roy J. Glauber |

Doctoral students | Stephen Altschul, Douglas West, Dimitris Bertsimas |

## Biography

Kleitman was born in 1934 in Brooklyn, New York,[1] the younger of Bertha and Milton Kleitman's two sons. His father was a lawyer who after WWII became a commodities trader and investor. In 1942 the family moved to Morristown, New Jersey,[4] and he graduated from Morristown High School in 1950.[1]

Kleitman then attended Cornell University, from which he graduated in 1954,[1] and received his PhD in Physics from Harvard University in 1958 under Nobel Laureates Julian Schwinger and Roy Glauber.[5] He is the "k" in G. W. Peck, a pseudonym for a group of six mathematicians that includes Kleitman. Formerly a physics professor at Brandeis University,[6] Kleitman was encouraged by Paul Erdős to change his field of study to mathematics. Perhaps humorously, Erdős once asked him, "Why are you *only* a physicist?"[1]

Kleitman joined the applied mathematics faculty at MIT in 1966, and was promoted to professor in 1969.[6]

Kleitman coauthored at least six papers with Erdős, giving him an Erdős number of 1.

He was a math advisor and extra for the film *Good Will Hunting.*[7] Since Minnie Driver, who appeared in *Good Will Hunting*, also appeared in *Sleepers* with Kevin Bacon, Kleitman has a Bacon number of 2. Adding the two numbers results in an Erdős–Bacon number of 3, which is a tie with Bruce Reznick for the lowest number anyone has.[8]

## Personal life

On July 26, 1964 Kleitman married Sharon Ruth Alexander. They have three children.[1]

## Selected publications

- Kleitman, D (1966). "On a combinatorial problem of Erdős".
*Proc. Amer. Math. Soc*.**17**: 139–141. doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-1966-0184866-9. MR 0184866. - Kleitman, Daniel (1969). "On Dedekind's problem: The number of monotone Boolean functions".
*Proc. Amer. Math. Soc*.**21**(3): 677–682. doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-1969-0241334-6. MR 0241334. - with B. Rothschild: Kleitman, D; Rothschild, B (1970). "The number of finite topologies".
*Proc. Amer. Math. Soc*.**25**(2): 276–282. doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-1970-0253944-9. MR 0253944. - with P. Erdős: Erdős, Paul; Kleitman, Daniel (1971). "On collections of subsets containing
*4*-member Boolean algebras".*Proc. Amer. Math. Soc*.**28**: 87–90. doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-1971-0270924-9. MR 0270924. - with B. Rothschild: Kleitman, D. J; Rothschild, B. L (1975). "Asymptotic enumeration of partial orders on a finite set" (PDF).
*Trans. Amer. Math. Soc*.**205**: 205–220. doi:10.1090/s0002-9947-1975-0369090-9. MR 0369090. - with G. Markowsky: Kleitman, D; Markowsky, G (1975). "On Dedekind's problem: The number of isotone Boolean functions. II".
*Trans. Amer. Math. Soc*.**213**: 373–390. doi:10.1090/s0002-9947-1975-0382107-0. MR 0382107. - with B. Rothschild and Joel H. Spencer: Kleitman, Daniel J; Rothschild, Bruce R; Spencer, Joel H (1976). "The number of semigroups of order
*n*".*Proc. Amer. Math. Soc*.**55**(1): 227–232. doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-1976-0414380-0. MR 0414380.[9] - with Gil Kalai: Kalai, Gil; Kleitman, Daniel J (1992). "A quasi-polynomial bound for the diameter of graphs of polyhedra".
*Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.)*.**26**(2): 315–316. arXiv:math/9204233. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1992-00285-9. MR 1130448. - with Noga Alon: Alon, Noga; Kleitman, Daniel J (1992). "Piercing convex sets".
*Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.)*.**27**(2): 252–256. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1992-00304-x. MR 1149871. - with Alex Coventry and Bonnie Berger: Coventry, A; Kleitman, D. J; Berger, B (2004). "MSARI: Multiple sequence alignments for statistical detection of RNA secondary structure".
*Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A*.**101**(33): 12102–12107. Bibcode:2004PNAS..10112102C. doi:10.1073/pnas.0404193101. PMC 514400. PMID 15304649.

## References

- Peck, G. W. (2002). "Kleitman and Combinatorics: A Celebration".
*Discrete Mathematics*.**257**(2–3): 193–224. doi:10.1016/S0012-365X(02)00595-2. MR 1935723. (article available on Douglas West's web page, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign). - "Kleitman, Daniel J.," in:
*Who's Who in Frontier Science and Technology*, 1, 1984, p. 396. - Kleitman, Daniel J in
*American Men of Science*, vol. 4, 2009 - Kevin Coughlin (July 25, 2012). "New park, plus tree plan, make for sunny summer day on Hillcrest Avenue in Morristown".
*MorrisTownGreen.com*.. - Daniel Kleitman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "MIT Mathematics - Daniel Kleitman". www-math.mit.edu. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- Daniel J. Kleitman, "My Career in the Movies,",
*Notices of the American Mathematical Society*,**45**, 502 (April 1998) - Grossman, Jerry. "Items of Interest Related to Erdös Numbers".
*The Erdös Number Project*. Oakland University. Retrieved 24 August 2018. - The 1976 publication
*The number of semigroups of order n*listed 3 co-authors, one of whom is "Bruce R. Rothschild" but this is a typographical error for the correct "Bruce L. Rothschild".

## External links

- Kleitman's homepage
- Peck, G. W. (2002). "Kleitman and Combinatorics: A Celebration".
*Discrete Mathematics*.**257**(2–3): 193–224. doi:10.1016/S0012-365X(02)00595-2. MR 1935723. (article available on Douglas West's web page, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)