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Pearls from a Lost City: The Lvov School of Mathematics
 
Roman Duda University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

Translated by Daniel Davies

Pearls from a Lost City
Hardcover ISBN:  978-1-4704-1076-6
Product Code:  HMATH/40
List Price: $125.00
MAA Member Price: $112.50
AMS Member Price: $100.00
eBook ISBN:  978-1-4704-1527-3
Product Code:  HMATH/40.E
List Price: $120.00
MAA Member Price: $108.00
AMS Member Price: $96.00
Hardcover ISBN:  978-1-4704-1076-6
eBook: ISBN:  978-1-4704-1527-3
Product Code:  HMATH/40.B
List Price: $245.00 $185.00
MAA Member Price: $220.50 $166.50
AMS Member Price: $196.00 $148.00
Pearls from a Lost City
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Pearls from a Lost City: The Lvov School of Mathematics
Roman Duda University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

Translated by Daniel Davies

Hardcover ISBN:  978-1-4704-1076-6
Product Code:  HMATH/40
List Price: $125.00
MAA Member Price: $112.50
AMS Member Price: $100.00
eBook ISBN:  978-1-4704-1527-3
Product Code:  HMATH/40.E
List Price: $120.00
MAA Member Price: $108.00
AMS Member Price: $96.00
Hardcover ISBN:  978-1-4704-1076-6
eBook ISBN:  978-1-4704-1527-3
Product Code:  HMATH/40.B
List Price: $245.00 $185.00
MAA Member Price: $220.50 $166.50
AMS Member Price: $196.00 $148.00
  • Book Details
     
     
    History of Mathematics
    Volume: 402014; 231 pp
    MSC: Primary 01;

    The fame of the Polish school at Lvov rests with the diverse and fundamental contributions of Polish mathematicians working there during the interwar years. In particular, despite material hardship and without a notable mathematical tradition, the school made major contributions to what is now called functional analysis. The results and names of Banach, Kac, Kuratowski, Mazur, Nikodym, Orlicz, Schauder, Sierpiński, Steinhaus, and Ulam, among others, now appear in all the standard textbooks.

    The vibrant joie de vivre and singular ambience of Lvov's once scintillating social scene are evocatively recaptured in personal recollections. The heyday of the famous Scottish Café—unquestionably the most mathematically productive cafeteria of all time—and its precious Scottish Book of highly influential problems are described in detail, revealing the special synergy of scholarship and camaraderie that permanently elevated Polish mathematics from utter obscurity to global prominence.

    This chronicle of the Lvov school—its legacy and the tumultuous historical events which defined its lifespan—will appeal equally to mathematicians, historians, or general readers seeking a cultural and institutional overview of key aspects of twentieth-century Polish mathematics not described anywhere else in the extant English-language literature.

    Readership

    Undergraduate, graduate, and research mathematicians interested in the history of mathematics and the Polish history of sciences.

  • Table of Contents
     
     
    • Background
    • The University and the Polytechnic in Lvov
    • Polish mathematics at the turn of the twentieth century
    • Sierpiński’s stay at the University of Lvov (1908–1914)
    • The University in Warsaw and Janiszewski’s program (1915–1920)
    • World mathematics (active fields in Poland) around 1920
    • The golden age: Individuals and community
    • The mathematical community in Lvov after World War I
    • Mathematical studies and students
    • Journals, monographs, and congresses
    • The popularization of mathematics
    • Social life (the Scottish Café, the Scottish Book)
    • The Polish Mathematical Society
    • Collaboration with other centers
    • In the eyes of others
    • The golden age: Achievements
    • Stefan Banach’s doctoral thesis and priority claims
    • Probability theory
    • Measure theory
    • Game theory: A revelation without follow-up
    • Operator theory in the 1920s
    • Methodological audacity
    • Banach’s monograph: Polishing the pearls
    • Operator theory in the 1930s: The dazzle of pearls
    • New perspectives for which time did not allow
    • On the periphery
    • Oblivion
    • Ukrainization the Soviet way (1939–1941)
    • The German occupation (1941–1944)
    • The expulsion of Poles (1945–1946)
    • Historical significance
    • Chronological overview
    • Chronology of events as perceived elsewhere
    • Influence on mathematics of the Lvov school
    • A tentative summary
    • Mathematics in Lvov after 1945
    • List of Lvov mathematicians
    • Mathematicians associated with Lvov
    • Bibliographies
  • Additional Material
     
     
  • Reviews
     
     
    • Many journal articles have been devoted to various aspects of mathematics in Lvov or to biographies of Lvov mathematicians, but Duda's book is the first comprehensive exposition...In summary, I conclude that Duda's book is a must for everyone interested in the history of functional analysis or in the history of mathematics in Poland.

      Lech Maligranda, Mathematical Intelligencer
    • This eagerly awaited translation of the book Pearls describes a world-class Polish school of mathematics at Lvov (now the Ukrainian Lviv) that thrived during the interwar period and has left an enduring legacy that remains part of the folklore today. Published in English translation after a somewhat protracted period of negotiation, this important work fills a niche in the history of science and should become a standard source of mathematics in Poland, especially the genesis of functional analysis during its Golden Age, 1918-1939. Moreover, the translator, Oxford's Daniel Davies, explains material that is unlikely to be familiar to readers outside Poland.

      Isis, A Journal of the History of Science Society
    • Many journal articles have been devoted to various aspects of mathematics in Lwów or to biographies of Lwów mathematicians, but Duda's book is the first comprehensive exposition. It is a must-read for everyone interested in the history of functional analysis or of mathematics in Poland, where the original Polish edition from 2007 ... has been highly successful. There is good reason to assume that the English version will be likewise successful.

      Dirk Werner, ZMATH
    • This book gives the history of Lvov as a mathematical center, from pre-WWI to Soviet and Ukrainian times, looking especially at the interwar golden age and the special favorable environment for mathematical scholarship. The author also describes the ways in which the Soviets and Germans destroyed this rich environment. The book includes a list, with biographical sketches, of mathematicians associated with Lvov, and a Lvov biography. It was a special time and place for mathematics, disrupted by war and politics and oppression and murder, and one wonders what more could have been achieved in a peaceful environment.

      CHOICE Reviews
    • The book under review is well and carefully written. The translation from Polish into English is polished and lively. ... I highly recommend the book for all university libraries, and I recommend it to those interested in the history of mathematics. The general mathematical reader will find it an entertaining and informative story about mathematicians and a truly extraordinary mathematical community.

      Henry Heatherly, MAA Reviews
  • Requests
     
     
    Review Copy – for publishers of book reviews
    Accessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
Volume: 402014; 231 pp
MSC: Primary 01;

The fame of the Polish school at Lvov rests with the diverse and fundamental contributions of Polish mathematicians working there during the interwar years. In particular, despite material hardship and without a notable mathematical tradition, the school made major contributions to what is now called functional analysis. The results and names of Banach, Kac, Kuratowski, Mazur, Nikodym, Orlicz, Schauder, Sierpiński, Steinhaus, and Ulam, among others, now appear in all the standard textbooks.

The vibrant joie de vivre and singular ambience of Lvov's once scintillating social scene are evocatively recaptured in personal recollections. The heyday of the famous Scottish Café—unquestionably the most mathematically productive cafeteria of all time—and its precious Scottish Book of highly influential problems are described in detail, revealing the special synergy of scholarship and camaraderie that permanently elevated Polish mathematics from utter obscurity to global prominence.

This chronicle of the Lvov school—its legacy and the tumultuous historical events which defined its lifespan—will appeal equally to mathematicians, historians, or general readers seeking a cultural and institutional overview of key aspects of twentieth-century Polish mathematics not described anywhere else in the extant English-language literature.

Readership

Undergraduate, graduate, and research mathematicians interested in the history of mathematics and the Polish history of sciences.

  • Background
  • The University and the Polytechnic in Lvov
  • Polish mathematics at the turn of the twentieth century
  • Sierpiński’s stay at the University of Lvov (1908–1914)
  • The University in Warsaw and Janiszewski’s program (1915–1920)
  • World mathematics (active fields in Poland) around 1920
  • The golden age: Individuals and community
  • The mathematical community in Lvov after World War I
  • Mathematical studies and students
  • Journals, monographs, and congresses
  • The popularization of mathematics
  • Social life (the Scottish Café, the Scottish Book)
  • The Polish Mathematical Society
  • Collaboration with other centers
  • In the eyes of others
  • The golden age: Achievements
  • Stefan Banach’s doctoral thesis and priority claims
  • Probability theory
  • Measure theory
  • Game theory: A revelation without follow-up
  • Operator theory in the 1920s
  • Methodological audacity
  • Banach’s monograph: Polishing the pearls
  • Operator theory in the 1930s: The dazzle of pearls
  • New perspectives for which time did not allow
  • On the periphery
  • Oblivion
  • Ukrainization the Soviet way (1939–1941)
  • The German occupation (1941–1944)
  • The expulsion of Poles (1945–1946)
  • Historical significance
  • Chronological overview
  • Chronology of events as perceived elsewhere
  • Influence on mathematics of the Lvov school
  • A tentative summary
  • Mathematics in Lvov after 1945
  • List of Lvov mathematicians
  • Mathematicians associated with Lvov
  • Bibliographies
  • Many journal articles have been devoted to various aspects of mathematics in Lvov or to biographies of Lvov mathematicians, but Duda's book is the first comprehensive exposition...In summary, I conclude that Duda's book is a must for everyone interested in the history of functional analysis or in the history of mathematics in Poland.

    Lech Maligranda, Mathematical Intelligencer
  • This eagerly awaited translation of the book Pearls describes a world-class Polish school of mathematics at Lvov (now the Ukrainian Lviv) that thrived during the interwar period and has left an enduring legacy that remains part of the folklore today. Published in English translation after a somewhat protracted period of negotiation, this important work fills a niche in the history of science and should become a standard source of mathematics in Poland, especially the genesis of functional analysis during its Golden Age, 1918-1939. Moreover, the translator, Oxford's Daniel Davies, explains material that is unlikely to be familiar to readers outside Poland.

    Isis, A Journal of the History of Science Society
  • Many journal articles have been devoted to various aspects of mathematics in Lwów or to biographies of Lwów mathematicians, but Duda's book is the first comprehensive exposition. It is a must-read for everyone interested in the history of functional analysis or of mathematics in Poland, where the original Polish edition from 2007 ... has been highly successful. There is good reason to assume that the English version will be likewise successful.

    Dirk Werner, ZMATH
  • This book gives the history of Lvov as a mathematical center, from pre-WWI to Soviet and Ukrainian times, looking especially at the interwar golden age and the special favorable environment for mathematical scholarship. The author also describes the ways in which the Soviets and Germans destroyed this rich environment. The book includes a list, with biographical sketches, of mathematicians associated with Lvov, and a Lvov biography. It was a special time and place for mathematics, disrupted by war and politics and oppression and murder, and one wonders what more could have been achieved in a peaceful environment.

    CHOICE Reviews
  • The book under review is well and carefully written. The translation from Polish into English is polished and lively. ... I highly recommend the book for all university libraries, and I recommend it to those interested in the history of mathematics. The general mathematical reader will find it an entertaining and informative story about mathematicians and a truly extraordinary mathematical community.

    Henry Heatherly, MAA Reviews
Review Copy – for publishers of book reviews
Accessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
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