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
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 23:22
  • 1
    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
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


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).


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