**Erdös number**

My PhD advisor at UCLA was
Burton
Fried, originally a high-energy physicist from the
University of Chicago, but when he moved to California after
graduation, he switched to plasma physics (specifically fusion
physics) and he worked for the TRW corporation, and became a
professor at UCLA. At that time, and still, UCLA has a vibrant
fusion and space plasma physics program, and he eventually
teamed up with George Morales - they were my two advisors.

Although Fried had retired
in 1991, about half way through my graduate career, I published
one paper with him

1.

Reynolds, M. A., B. D. Fried and G. J.
Morales

“Velocity-space
drag and diffusion in a
model, two-dimensional plasma,”

Phys.
Plasmas 4, 1286-1296 (1997).

While Fried was at the
University of Chicago, the Nobel-prize winning physicist Murray
Gell-Mann visited, and they became acquainted. Later, after
Fried had switched to plasma physics, they collaborated on a
paper with John David Jackson, the author of the well-known
graduate textbook "Classical Electrodynamics."

2.

Fried, B.D., M. Gell-Mann, J.D. Jackson and
H.W. Wyld

``Longitudinal
Plasma Oscillations in an
Electric Field''

J. Nucl Energy, Part C: Plasma
Phys. 1 190
(1960).

Now the path to Erdös is well-known, as much work has been done for determining the Erdös number of famous people. The first step is a paper Gell-Mann wrote with another Nobel prize winner, Sheldon Glashow.

3.

Glashow,S. L., and M.
Gell-Mann

``Gauge
theories of
vector particles’’

Ann. Physics 15
(1961) 437-460.

Glashow then published a paper with Daniel Kleitman.

4.

Glashow,
S. L., and D. J. Kleitman

``Baryon
resonances
in W_{3} symmetry''

Phys.
Lett. 11
(1964) 84-86.

Kleitman was a
mathematician and published several papers with Paul Erdös, one
of which is

5.

B. Aronov, P. Erdös, ... D. J. Kleitman, et al.

Combinatorica
14,
127-134 (1994).

My Erdös number is
therefore 5.

__Bacon number__

As an undergraduate
student at U.C. Santa Cruz, I was an extra in the concert scene
on the Santa Cruz boardwalk in the 1987 film "The Lost Boys." My
father was a driver for the Burbank Studios. He had been a
driver for various industries for most of his life, but for the
final 30 years of his career he was connected to Hollywood.
First had been MGM in Culver City, then short stints at other
studios, and finally long term at the Burbank Studios in
Burbank, CA. He went on location for this movie, and was able to
connect me and my then girlfriend (now wife) Kathy with the
casting director, and we were extras. While I was on screen, I
did not have a speaking role. Kathy was in one shot where the
lead actress, played by Jamie Gertz,
pushed her aside. Unfortunately, that shot ended up on the
cutting room floor.

Jamie Gertz was also in
the 1986 film "Quicksilver" with Kevin Bacon.

Therefore, my Bacon number
is 2.

**Erdös-Bacon number**

Adding, gives me an
Erdös-Bacon number of 7. While this is low (there are not too
many scientists/mathematicians who are also in films), it is not
the lowest. That honor goes to Kleitman,
who has an Erdös number of 1 and a Bacon number of 2.