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Great Russian Women

Sof'ja Aleksandrovna Janovskaja

Janovskaja

January 21, 1896 - October 24, 1966

Professor of Mathematics at Moscow State University. Received the prized Order of Lenin in 1951. In 1959 she became the first chairperson of the newly created department of mathematical logic at Moscow State University.


Olga Alexandrovna Ladyzhenskaya

Ladyzhenskaya Photo

March 7, 1922 -

Received her Ph.D. at the Leningrad State University in 1949 and her Doctorate in the Mathematics-Physical Sciences in 1953 at Moscow State University. Worked in the general areas of linear, quasilinear, and nonlinear partial (and some ordinary) differential equations of elliptic, parabolic, and hyperbolic types, with some theoretical applications to Navier-Stokes flow. Professor of Mathematics at the Physics Department at St. Petersburg University and Head of the Laboratory of Mathematical Physics at the St. Petersburg branch of the Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science.


Elizaveta Fedorovna Litvinova

1845 - 1919

Studied mathematics on her own in Russia. In 1872 went to Zurich to study at the Polytechnic Institute, receiving her baccalaureate in 1876, and her doctoral degree in 1878 from Bern University (despite a Russian decree in 1873 that all Russian women studying in Zurich had to return to Russia by the end of 1873.) Returned to Russia but was prevented from obtaining a teaching position. Finally accepted a post as a teacher in the lower classes of a women's academy. Published over 70 articles on the philosophy and practice of teaching mathematics. Respected as one of the foremost pedagogues in Russia.


Vera Nikoiaevna Maslennikova

April 26, 1926 -

Awarded the Order of the Patriotic War for her help in the defense of Moscow and service in the anti-aircraft division during the 2nd World War. Ph.D. from Steklov Mathematical Institute. Taught for 22 years at the Steklov Mathematical Institute. Since 1975 has held the chair of differential equations and functional analysis at the Patrice Lumumba University.


Olga Arsen'evna Oleinik

Olga Oleinik

July 2, 1925 - October 11, 2001



Ph.D. in 1954 from the Institute of Mathematics of Moscow State University. Taught at Moscow State University since her graduate days. Became head of the Department of Differential Equations in 1973. Wrote over 300 published papers and eight books. Her main research was concerned with algebraic geometry, partial differential equations, and mathematical physics. Winner of numerous prizes.

The following biography was circulated through electronic mail at the time of her death:

Professor Olga Arsienevna Oleinik passed away on October 11 2001 at the age of 76. She made her mark throughhout the world with her articles (almost three hundred!) and her monographs. After having completed her thesis under the guidance of Professor Petrovski, she began her carreer in the Moscow State University. She became professor in the same university and for a long period was the head of the chair of Differential Equations. She has guided much research, was the adviser of more than fifty mathematicians some twenty of which obtained the degree of Doctor of Science.

The range of interest of Professor Oleinik was very wide, from the study of Real Analytic Manifolds (in connection with Hilbert's sixteenth problem) to the questions of existence and uniqueness of solutions of linear and non-linear partial differential equations.

She is the author of very general and elegant proofs of Korn's inequality, an essential tool in the theory of elasticity. She gave talks in numerous international congresses and seminars in universities throughout the world. She was a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other academies, she was also a Doctor Honoris Causa of many foreign universities. Professor Oleinik was awarded the medal of the College de France. J. Leray and J.-L. Lions invited her several times to this eminent institution, since some of her work was related to those of the two distinguished mathematicians.

She will also be remembered as a lady with a very strong personality. She was very generous with her colleagues and her friendship, once acquired, was limitless. Her loss will be deeply felt by the international mathematical community.


Pelageya Yakovlevna Polubarinova-Kochina

Polubarinova-Kochina

Born: 1899

One of the most important women in mathematics in the Soviet Union and one of its leading scientists. Applied mathematician who became director of the division of hydromechanics at the University of Moscow. Later she helped establish the Siberian branch of the Academy of Sciences at Novosibirsk where she was director of the department of applied hydrodynamics at the Hydrodynamics Institute and was also head of the department of theoretical mechanics at the University of Novosibirsk.


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