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Author : Z.A. Melzak
Book Title : Companion to Concrete Mathematics.
Publication : Dover renewed 2004 2 volumes in one. Copyright 1972/1976.

I found this book extremely nice.
To whet your appetite he talks about reification as well as some plain and less plain way to accelerate series convergence. In a few words it is a rare blend of concreteness and conceptualization. It smells a bit like Concrete Mathematics (by Knuth and co..) but the only information I found was an an depth review by Klamkin (not entirely positive though).

QUESTION : I would like to find connections : information about the author, and for those who appreciate this book or heard loadably about it: what others books/works are in the same vein ?

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closed as off topic by Nate Eldredge, Mariano Suárez-Alvarez, Gerry Myerson, Chandan Singh Dalawat, Felipe Voloch Feb 5 '11 at 8:24

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Is this a reasonable MO question? –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez Feb 5 '11 at 4:12
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No. But it's a terrific book. –  Gerry Myerson Feb 5 '11 at 4:54
    
@Mariano According to Overflow requirements , this is a very specific question, tough it asks for soft information , this very information is sparse ( otherwise I guess I would have found some). Moreover his maths are "written" which is rare. May be the answer will tell that he was a loner with very little mathematical collaboration (publicized). –  Jérôme JEAN-CHARLES Feb 7 '11 at 3:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 15 down vote accepted

According to the Mathematics Genealogy Project, Zdzislaw Alexander Melzak did his graduate studies at MIT and became a professor at UBC. I'm not sure whether his name might have actually been spelled Zozislaw, though (I guess someone Polish would know which is correct). The UBC Library has online a photo of him from 1966.

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Google gives approximately four million hits for Zdzislaw and about ten thousand for Zozislaw. I'd bet that the d-spelling is correct, and that the o-spelling at the UBC library is an example of "the more difficult reading is the stronger" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectio_difficilior_potior) applied to an English speaker transcribing a Polish name. –  Michael Lugo Feb 5 '11 at 1:13
    
Yes, the correct spelling is Zdzislaw. The "dz" here is pronounced by Poles roughly as "g" in "gym." Wikipedia has something to say on this name: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zdzis%C5%82aw –  ansobol Feb 5 '11 at 6:49
    
Actually I found some other inofrmation : he is the author of a book called In search of the Fulcrum" literary autobiographical. And also a book called "Bypasses: A Simple Approach to Complexity" –  Jérôme JEAN-CHARLES Feb 7 '11 at 4:00

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