Home Page of Stefan Banach

Home Page of Stefan Banach

Stefan Banach. Remarkable life, Brilliant mathematics
Biographical materials edited by Emilia Jakimowicz and Adam Miranowicz
Gdańsk University Press and Adam Mickiewicz University Press, 2007, pp. 133,
second extended edition, Gdańsk University Press, 2011, pp. 185.
Distributed non-exclusively worldwide by the American Mathematical Society.

1  Book description (from cover page)

Stefan Banach (1892-1945), Polish mathematician, one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century, with the facts and details of his remarkable life as told by living family members and personal acquaintances, and including previously unpublished letters and photographs. The lucky chance discovery and recognition of his genius, meteoric rise to fame, struggle to survive in occupied Polish Lvov during World War II by having to feed laboratory lice, and the promise of a bright future denied by a fatal illness. A concise overview of his pioneering work is also included and presented in a way that should make it more easily understandable.

2  Book description by the American Mathematical Society

This meticulously researched and detailed account of the life of the Polish mathematician Stefan Banach presents previously unknown facts that shed new light on his accomplishments and chronicles the many dramatic events of his life. A self-taught prodigy and one of the great scientists of the twentieth century, Banach established modern functional analysis, an entirely new branch of mathematics with important applications. He also helped to develop the theory of topological vector spaces. Such notions as Banach space, Banach algebra, Banach manifold, Banach measure, Banach integral, Banach limit, and Banach bundle are widely used in today's mathematics.
The authors interviewed Banach's living family members, former students and acquaintances, unearthed old documents and records, and collected previously unpublished letters and photographs to compile this biography. They also added a concise overview of his pioneering work. Their research was motivated by a desire to provide an accurate and authoritative account of the life and achievements of one of Poland's most famous and celebrated mathematicians.

3  Contents

Preface (by Emilia Jakimowicz & Adam Miranowicz)
1. A Remarkable Life (by Emilia Jakimowicz)
        1.1 The Early Years
        1.2 First Great Adventure with Mathematics
        1.3 Road to Fame
        1.4 The Scottish Café
        1.5 The Dark Years
        1.6 Epilogue
        1.7 Timetable to Stefan Banach's Life
        1.8 The Laureates of the Stefan Banach Awards
2. Letters
        2.1 First Letter of Banach to Ulam
        2.2 Second Letter of Banach to Ulam
        2.3 Banach's Mathematical Enclosure
        2.4 Third Letter of Banach to Ulam
        2.5 Letter of Greczek to Banach
        2.6 Letter of Ulam to Kałuża
3. Recollections
        3.1 Stefan Banach Jr about his Father
        3.2 Maria Sowińska about Stefan Banach
        3.3 John Greczek about Stefan Banach
        3.4 Alicja Żuraniewska about Stefan Greczek
        3.5 Waksmundzka-Hajnos about Stefan Greczek
        3.6 Andrzej Alexiewicz about Stefan Banach
        3.7 Wacław Szybalski about Stefan Banach
        3.8 Tadeusz Riedl about Stefan Banach
4. Stefan Banach in the Light of Archives (by Stanisław Domoradzki, Zofia Pawlikowska-Brożek, and Mikhailo Zarichny)
5. Banach's Opus Scientificus (by Julian Musielak)
        5.1 Predecessors
        5.2 Banach Space
        5.3 What is Functional Analysis about?
        5.4 Methods of Functional Analysis
6. Stefan Banach and Lvov Mathematical School (by Krzysztof Ciesielski and Zdzisław Pogoda)
7. The Scottish Book (by Marek Kordos)
8. The New Scottish Book (by Roman Duda)
Selected Bibliography in English and French
Selected Bibliography in Polish
Biographical Notes
List of Illustrations
Index of Names

4  A review by Mahesh Dube of the book on "Stefan Banach - Remarkable life, Brilliant Mathematics"

Stefan Banach - Remarkable life, Brilliant Mathematics - edited by Emilia Jakimowicz and Adam Miranowicz, is the story of a remarkable mathematician - who was a legend in his life time and has become a myth thereafter. It is also about the persons who intercepted his life and also intersected it tangentially or asymptotically. The book also introduces us to the persons, who loved and admired Banach. It is a poetic presentation of the saga of a life in completeness with different shades and different colours in different moods. Like the Polish poetry, the book is an epic of Hop, memory and human interactions.
S. Banach's life in the story of human courage and dignity against the odds of time and history. It tells us that to be a man is really very difficult. His was the life of Light - that worldly truths could not distort.
The editors have done a wonderful job and have magnificently recreated before their readers the space and time of, in between the years 1892-1945. Very little is known, in the English speaking world; about Stefan Banach. The only biography that can be cited, is that of Roman Kaluza's book - Through a Reporter's Eye: The life of Stefan Banach. But this book is not easily available and is a rare title.
With the present book - Stefan Banach - Remarkable life and Brilliant Mathematics - now Banach comes alive to a wider and larger mathematical community. One of the editors (Emilia Jakimowicz) has written the biography of Banach in the book under the title - 'A Remarkable Life'. It is indeed a remarkable contribution. E.J. has provided facts of the childhood period with objective grace and subjective reality. It is very painful to read about Banach's dark years and the time that he spent as lice feeder under the Nazi occupation of Poland.
Letters and Recollections are touchy and emotionally rich. Mathematics of Banach is also outlined in one of the chapters. The descriptions of the Scottish café and the Scottish book are very interesting. These chapters provide a glimpse of the Polish mathematical culture as well.
The book is very lively written. It is lucid, interesting, informative and absorbing. Once you pick it up, you are bound to complete it.
The photographs add to the charm of the book. And at the end the reader feels as if Banach himself emerging out of the pages of the book, and in a whispering tone recites the lines
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
                        - Robert Frost
It is a book of different flavour written with deep commitment and feelings. In my opinion the mathematical literature has become richer with the addition of this book. My congratulations to the editors and publisher for bringing out such a nice book.

                Prof. Mahesh Dube
                1102, Sai Ansh, Plot No.7, Sector - 11, SANPADA, Navi Mumbai, Maharastra 400705, India

File translated from TEX by TTHgold, version 4.00.
On 13 Jan 2012, 18:53.