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It seems, based on some of his writings, that Stanislaw Lem had some background in non-basic mathematics. For example the poem "Love and Tensor Algebra" from The Cyberiad.

As far as I know, he never formally studied mathematics, so I'm wondering — is it known how or when he became interested in mathematics, and how he learned it?

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    One would not have to learn any advanced mathematics to write a poem like that. It would be enough to read a popular book about mathematics to pick up some jargon and some names. – user14111 Jul 10 '17 at 23:22
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    See also literature.stackexchange.com/q/2976/139 "Mathematics or gibberish? Understanding a description of an alien message in His Master's Voice" – b_jonas Jul 11 '17 at 9:54
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His entry in the Polish Wikipedia says he read Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine by N. Wiener and A Mathematical Theory of Communication by C. E. Shannon when he was an assistant at the Jagiellonian University (1948-50).

Cited source is a book Świat na krawędzi, a series of interviews with Lem, written by Tomasz Fiałkowski (p. 56-57 specifically).

  • Wikipedia is only as good as its sources. What is the source of that claim? – user1807 Jul 10 '17 at 22:31
  • Edited. Didn't read that book but sounds legit. – Mithoron Jul 10 '17 at 23:19

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