Andrew Odlyzko

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Andrew Michael Odlyzko is a mathematician and a former head of the University of Minnesota's Digital Technology Center.

In the field of mathematics he has published extensively on analytic number theory, computational number theory, cryptography, algorithms and computational complexity, combinatorics, probability, and error-correcting codes. In the early 1970s, he was a co-author (with D. Kahaner and G.-C. Rota) of one of the founding papers of the modern umbral calculus. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975.[1] In 1985 he and Herman te Riele disproved the Mertens conjecture.

More recently, he has worked on communication networks, electronic publishing, economics of security and electronic commerce.

In the paper "Content is Not King", published in First Monday in January 2001, he argues that

  1. the entertainment industry is a small industry compared with other industries, notably the telecommunications industry;
  2. people are more interested in communication than entertainment;
  3. and therefore that entertainment "content" is not the killer app for the Internet.


Network value

In the paper "Metcalfe's Law is Wrong", [2] Andrew Odlyzko argues that the incremental value of adding one person to network of n people is approximately the nth harmonic number, so the total value of the network is approximately n log n. Since this curves upward (unlike Sarnoff's law), it implies that Metcalfe's conclusion – that there is a critical mass in networks, leading to a network effect – is qualitatively correct. But since this linearithmic function does not grow as rapidly as Metcalfe's law, it implies that many of the quantitative expectations based on Metcalfe's law were excessively optimistic.

See also


  1. Template:MathGenealogy
  2. "Metcalfe's Law is Wrong". Bob Briscoe, Andrew Odlyzko, and Benjamin Tilly, July 2006 IEEE Spectrum.

External links

ht:Andrew Odlyzko sv:Andrew Odlyzko

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