Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Google Scholar thinks my Hilbert Number is 1

(I want to thank Lane Hemaspaandra for bringing this to my attention.)

When I google:

google scholar  William Gasarch

I get  this

(I wonder if what you get depends on who you are- I describe below what I get.)

The first entry on it is

Methods of  Mathematical Physics by Courant and Hilbert.

The first page page that Google brings up has all papers with Hilbert as a co-author except the book

Handbook of discrete and combinatorial mathematics edited by Rosen

I have a short article in that book.

The second page has the paper of Hilbert:

Uber die irreducible ganzer rationaler blah blah

which I have a connection to since Mark Villarino, Bill Gasarch, and Ken Regan have a paper explaining this paper in modern terms here. Could this have confused google scholar into thinking I am Hilbert? Seems unlikely.

In fact, the first two pages are all papers with Hilbert as an author. The third page has

Some connections between bounded query classes and non-uniform complexity by Amir, Beigel, Gasarch.

And after that the pages are a mix of Hilbert's papers and mine, though mostly his since he had so many more papers than I did.

This raises some questions

1) How did this happen? Did I hack google scholar? Many theorists at one time in their lives were excellent programmers- however, I am not one of them.

2) How common is it for google scholar to be this far wrong?

3) If I wanted to get this fixed who would I tell?  In the past whenever I've tried to tell a company something FOR THEIR OWN GOOD I get the same run-around as when I am trying to get information not on their website, so I have STOPPED even trying. Same here?

4) Should I want to get it fixed? I am proud to be affiliated with Hilbert!


  1. It's easy enough to fix. If you have a google scholar account you can just sign in and you get a list of check boxes beside papers on your profile. You just tick them and you get the option to remove them from the profile. It is fairly common for incorrect papers to be added, so you tend to need to check in every so often. You can also manually add papers from your profile page.

  2. So just to sum up, you are getting credit for a paper you were not even the author of? How does google get something like that wrong? I'm sure all of our promising google employees here on campus can look into this matter for you.