Not signed in (Sign In)

Vanilla 1.1.9 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

    I think the recent question was asked legitimately, and the OP sought to replace hearsay by a confirmed or refuted statement. Since no eyewitnesses can come forward, the right question (and answer) is not "what really happened", but "what people close to the matter say to have happened". This is how I answered the question, making my answer a CW. Math students in Krakow, including myself and (a few years older) Krzysztof Ciesielski heard the story about Banach's PhD countlessly many times (it was circulating in Lvov too, as Alex Eremenko attests). It was told publicly by late Fr. Andrzej Turowicz and by late Feliks Baranski, who intersected with Banach in Lvov as assistants in the department of mathematics at the university there. Ciesielski (together with Zdzislaw Pogoda) also interviewed Fr. Turowicz for the article mentioned by M. Khan. His written account is the only evidence I could reliably share. I decided to include the story of Henryk Markiewicz to give further weight to the unusual tale, even though it has nothing to do with mathematics.

    The question seems reasonable to me, but I wonder whether two minor edits could improve it. One would be removing the characterization of Banach as lazy, and the other would be editing the title. To me, saying X wrote Y's thesis sounds like it means exactly the opposite of what it means here. (I.e., it sounds like it is saying X did the research, without making an assertion about who wrote the text of the dissertation.) So when I first saw the title, I thought it was an accusation that Banach's thesis was based on someone else's work. However, the question itself was clear.

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2012

    Thank you, Margaret Friedland, for creating the meta thread; likely I should have done so instead of replying on main to Bok (but I was a bit short on time and got annoyed).

    Regarding Henry Cohn's suggestion: I agree the title gives a wrong idea, one can/perhaps should also drop the laziness. (I would do so myself, but language wise do not find a good formulation. If somebody has a good idea I think they just should go ahead. When or if OP returns is unclear; new account last online 2 days).

    Other than that IMO it is quite solid for a math history question, and as such well in the extended (though not strict) scope of MO. As such I answered (in CW, acknowledging the in par speculative nature) but will not start some "fight" if somebody wants to close it.


    Perhaps "Who wrote down Banach's thesis?" would be a better title.

    let's leave the title. It's a nice provocative title that will arouse the interest of many people, and, even though the real story is different, it's still a compelling one.
    I made a slight edit of the wording of the question, to remove the offending word.