**Endre Szemerédi** is a Hungarian-born American mathematician and computer scientist, working in the field of combinatorics and theoretical computer science.

- Szemerédi only spent six months at the medical school but he dropped out before the end of the first semester.
- One day Szemerédi was walking through the centre of Budapest when he saw Ellmann and went to chat to him.
- Szemerédi and Ellmann chatted and, naturally, Ellmann asked Szemerédi what he was doing.
- When he heard about his factory job, Ellmann told Szemerédi that he should go to Eötvös Loránd University and study mathematics.
- Not only was this Ellmann's opinion but, he said, he knew that their high school mathematics teacher Sándor Bende had always thought that Szemerédi should have studied mathematics.
- Szemerédi had always respected his friend's advice and so he did as suggested and entered Eötvös Loránd University in 1960.
- In his first year at university, academic year 1960-61, Szemerédi took mathematics and physics courses with the eventual aim of becoming a high school teacher.
- While an undergraduate, Szemerédi collaborated with two outstanding young mathematicians András Sárközi and János Komlós.
- Szemerédi graduated with a Master's Degree from Eötvös Loránd University in 1965.
- At the Mathematical Research Institute, Szemerédi began to collaborate with Paul Erdős who was a frequent visitor.
- Szemerédi's first paper with Erdős also included Andras Sárközi as a co-author.
- Szemerédi went on to write many (around 30) joint papers with Erdős but, in fact, this number was well beaten by his other co-author from these early days, Andras Sárközi, who has the record of the most joint papers with Erdős (around 50).
- For the impressive work he had done up to this time Szemerédi was awarded the Grünwald Prize in 1967 by the János Bolyai Mathematical Society, and he received the prize again in the following year.
- At this stage Szemerédi did not have a doctorate and, given that Hungary now had strong links with Russia and Alexander Gelfond was a world leading number theorist, Szemerédi applied to do research in Moscow with Gelfond as his thesis advisor.
- Szemerédi, as a Hungarian student who could speak Russian, was assigned to look after him and show him round.
- Once Gelfond heard of the error that had occurred, he said that when he returned to Moscow he would arrange for Szemerédi to become his student.
- Szemerédi continued as Gelfand's student, but was allowed to write his thesis on combinatorics.
- After submitting his thesis, Szemerédi was awarded a candidate's degree (equivalent to a Ph.D.) from Moscow State University in 1970.
- Back in the Institute of Mathematics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szemerédi was awarded their Alfréd Rényi Prize in 1973 which was an annual award to recognise outstanding performance in mathematical research during the previous five years.
- By 1973 Szemerédi had published over 30 papers and, two years later, in 1975, he published a highly significant result which is now known as Szemerédi's Theorem.
- Szemerédi's Theorem states that in any set of integers with positive density, there are arbitrarily long arithmetic progressions.
- He also gave us Szemerédi's regularity lemma, a result that originated in the proof of Szemerédi's theorem but went on to become a major tool in extremal combinatorics.
- A key step in the proof, now known as the Szemerédi Regularity Lemma, is a structural classification of large graphs.
- Beyond its impact on discrete mathematics and additive number theory, Szemerédi's theorem inspired Hillel Furstenberg to develop ergodic theory in new directions.
- Furstenberg gave a new proof of Szemerédi's theorem by establishing the Multiple Recurrence Theorem in ergodic theory, thereby unexpectedly linking questions in discrete mathematics to the theory of dynamical systems.
- Szemerédi continued to receive prizes for his outstanding work.
- In 1986 Szemerédi moved to the United States when he was appointed State of New Jersey Professor of Computer Science at Rutgers University.
- In the book, 'An Irregular Mind', published prior to the conference, it is stated that "Szemerédi has an 'irregular mind'; his brain is wired differently than for most mathematicians.
- No account of Szemerédi's work would be complete without a discussion of Szemerédi's theorem and Szemerédi's regularity lemma.
- However, there is much more to Szemerédi than just these two theorems.
- Anna Kepes Szemerédi edited the book Art in the Life of Mathematicians (2015).
- Szemerédi is a sweet, sweet man.

Born 21 August 1940, Budapest, Hungary.

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Prize Abel, Origin Hungary

**O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive