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Does anyone know anything about M. Meyniel? According to zbMath, he published precisely one mathematics paper, in which he gave a sufficient condition for hamiltonicity of digraphs:

"Une condition suffisante d'existence d'un circuit hamiltonien dans un graphe oriente" (JCTB 14 (1973), 137–147).

In that paper, he was listed with an address but no affiliation. The address was 13, rue Poirier de Narçay, Paris 14ᵉ, which appears to be an apartment above a game store for what it is worth.

I assume that M. Meyniel is distinct from Henri Meyniel of Meyniel graphs and Meyniel's conjecture. That said, the paper "Sufficient conditions for a digraph to be Hamiltonian" (J. Graph Th. 22 (1996) 181–187) is dedicated to the memory of Henri Meyniel and lists Henri Meyniel as the author of M. Meyniel's paper (item [15] in the bibliography).

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  • $\begingroup$ I assume that M. Meyniel is distinct from Henri Meyniel: Why exactly do you assume that, given that the only available evidence suggests the contrary? $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2022 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ What would you like to know? The number of people who wrote a single mathematical paper in their life is very large. $\endgroup$
    – YCor
    Mar 8, 2022 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ Well, given that I didn't know the convention of using M. for "Monsieur", I read "M." and "H." as different first initials. I would contend that's also available evidence. Same reason I would assume "M. Jeřábek" and "Emil Jeřábek" are distinct people. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2022 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ The quite obvious way to have the answer would be to write to Jean-Claude Bermond (link to web page) who is thanked in the paper, and seems still active. $\endgroup$
    – YCor
    Mar 8, 2022 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ @VinceVatter Even in absence of this convention, it’s not uncommon that names or initials under which a given person publishes somewhat vary (to begin with, H. Mayniel’s zbMATH profile says he published as both “Henry” and “Henri”), and in case of a single-letter difference, it could even be a typo. But all right, I concede that being listed as the same person in a third-party paper is not a conclusive evidence either, though I’d consider it to be much stronger than a difference in an initial. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2022 at 16:00

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You can be quite sure that M. Meyniel means "Monsieur Meyniel" (a common usage in French).

Here is what I think is definite proof that M. Meyniel is H. Meyniel: The acknowledgement of the 1973 paper by M. Meyniel thanks J.C. Bermond, so evidently Bermond knew the author. In the article Cycles in digraphs - a survey Bermond and Thomassen cite the 1973 paper as follows:

Meyniel, H., Une condition suffisante d'existance d'un circuit hamiltonien dans un graphe orienté, J. Combinatorial Theory B 14(1937), 137–147

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    $\begingroup$ Why "quite sure"? This is indeed an assumption, but there are very many French first names starting with "M." $\endgroup$
    – YCor
    Mar 8, 2022 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ certainly, but since Henri Meyniel is listed as the author of M. Meyniel's paper, there is little doubt that "M." is not a misprint for "H." but just means Monsieur. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2022 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, given this, indeed that is likely. $\endgroup$
    – YCor
    Mar 8, 2022 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you. I had not known about this practice (and neither, it seems, do zbMath or Mathematical Reviews). $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2022 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ The point is not that MSN and ZBmath don't know this practice, but that they know the practice of using the initial letter of the first name, and that they have less information a priori. So, the right thing to do at this point would be to write to them with the given evidence, so that they will fix the attribution. $\endgroup$
    – YCor
    Mar 8, 2022 at 18:13
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This "M. Meyniel" is indeed, and definitively, Henri Meyniel (sometimes spelled Henry Meyniel). Note that the article you mention was communicated by Berge, at a time (1972) when Meyniel was still a very young, and little-known, researcher. This explains the use of the "M." to talk about Meyniel. Note also that on the following pages, the author is just called "Meyniel", without "M." nor "H.".

Meyniel then became a recognized French graph theorist, though very few is known about his personal life; a rare photo of him can be found in this article by Baird & Bonato :

Meyniel (Aussois, 1980's)

In this other article (probably his last, even posthumous, publication), we learn that Meyniel was affiliated to CNRS (French national scientific research center)... and that he passed away in 1995. His obituary tells us he was born in 1950 in a small town near Bordeaux, Caudéran.

(These informations had been confirmed to me when I was doing my thesis, from personal communications, for example with my PhD advisor, Frédéric Maffray, a co-author of Meyniel in his last article.)

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