Posts Tagged ‘names’
I Missed His Book, But I Read His Name
“The Silver Pilgrimage,” by M. Anantanarayanan. . . . 160 pages.
Criterion. $3.95. —The Times
Though authors are a dreadful clan
To be avoided if you can,
I’d like to meet the Indian,
I picture him as short and tan.
We’d meet, perhaps, in Hindustan.
I’d say, with admirable élan,
“Ah, Anantanarayanan —
I’ve heard of you. The Times once ran
A notice on your novel, an
Unusual tale of God and Man.”
Would seat me on a lush divan
And read his name — that sumptuous span
Of ‘a’s and ‘n’s more lovely than
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan” —
Aloud to me all day. I plan
Henceforth to be an ardent fan
of Anantanarayanan —
(Also on Youtube)
For future reference, reminded by a recent webcomic:
- There is no ‘t’ in Cauchy–Schwarz. It is named after Hermann Schwarz (1843–1921), who rediscovered it in 1888. His other work includes some stuff in complex analysis: Schwarz lemma, Schwarz–Christoffel mapping, a theorem about symmetry of second derivatives, etc.
- All other (mathematical) Schwar(t)zes have ‘t’s.
- There’s Jack Schwartz (1930–2009), mathematician–and–computer scientist, who was Gian-Carlo Rota’s advisor and co-wrote the monumental three-volume work on Linear Operators (“Dunford and Schwartz”). And he’s also the name in the Schwartz-Zippel lemma (“Or the Schwartz-Zippel-DeMillo-Lipton Lemma.”)
- There’s Laurent Schwartz (1915–2002), who was at ENS, worked on the theory of distributions, and won the Fields Medal in 1950. (“Schwartz space”)
Those are the major ones, I think.
As I, like many South Indians, don’t have a surname, and have been forced to adopt one for my life in the US, I have some things to say about surnames, and there will be a post about them someday, probably. (There was a draft lying around which had “tyranny” in its title, but nothing much good besides.) In the meantime, someone very bored might be able to amuse themselves with related news I’ve been collecting, such as this latest one from a BBC article on zombies:
In their study, the researchers from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University (also in Ottawa) posed a question: If there was to be a battle between zombies and the living, who would win?
Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname and not a typographical mistake) and colleagues wrote: “We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies. [..]
Some paragraphs later:
Professor Smith? told BBC News:
(Apparently he’s an Australian citizen and got his name changed while living in the US… quite an achievement. His major complaint seems to be that Facebook won’t let him use his name.)