Olga Alexandrovna Ladyzhenskaya | Mathematician

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Olga Alexandrovna Ladyzhenskaya | Mathematician

Olga Ladyzhenskaya: Olga Ladyzhenskaya’s 97th birthday is being celebrated by Google Doodle on Thursday. But before the late Russian mathematician—known for her contributions to fluid dynamics and solving partial differential equations—achieved high honors in the world of mathematics, Ladyzhenskaya had a rough start.

Born on March 7, 1922, Ladyzhenskaya learned algebra from her father Aleksandr Ivanovich Ladyzhenskii, also a mathematician, while growing up in the small town of Kologriv. When she was 15 years old, he was arrested by Stalinist authorities and executed for being an “enemy of the state.” That left a stain on Ladyzhenskaya’s family name and cost her admission to Leningrad State University, despite her academic success.

Olga Alexandrovna Ladyzhenskaya

Ladyzhenskaya, along with her mother and sisters, sold clothing to support themselves. Ladyzhenskaya also began teaching math in a secondary school. She was later accepted to Moscow State University, where she earned her Ph.D. In 1955, Ladyzhenskaya became a professor of mathematics in the physics department of St. Petersburg University.

Olga Ladyzhenskaya

Her love for the subject developed thanks to her father, and she had a special spot for algebra. However, life was not easy for her as she and her family struggled under the Soviet rule who had made life difficult for the intelligentsia.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 97th birth anniversary of Russian mathematician Olga Ladyzhenskaya. Ladyzhenskaya was known for her work on partial differential equations and fluid dynamics. Google celebrated her birthday with a doodle and a YouTube video on her life and achievements.

The Google doodle is in an elliptical shape, possibly paying homage to her work involving linear and quasilinear elliptic equations.

Olga Aleksandrovna Ladyzhenskaya was born in the town of Kologriv in the erstwhile Soviet Union. Her father was a mathematics teacher and is credited with inspiring her love of mathematics.

Thursday’s Google Doodle looks at Olga Ladyzhenskaya, a mathematician who endured a tragic loss to become one of the great thinkers of her time.

Ladyzhenskaya was born March 7, 1922, in Kologriv, a small town in western Russia, and spent her early years being inspired with a love of mathematics by her father, Aleksandr, who taught the subject.

She lost him as a teenager in 1937, when he was arrested by Soviet authorities, declared an enemy of the state and killed. Her family name stopped her from getting into Leningrad State University (now Saint Petersburg State University) two years later, but she ultimately got into Moscow University in 1943.

Olga Ladyzhenskaya Biography

Olga Ladyzhenskaya Biography

Olga Alexandrovna Ladyzhenskaya‘s father was Aleksandr Ivanovich Ladyzhenskii, descended from Russian nobility, and her mother, Anna Mikhailovna, was from Estonia. Olga’s birthplace Kologriv was surrounded by ‘wild’ forests, near the picturesque river Unzha. Her mother was a hard-working housewife, looking after her husband and three daughters of whom Olga was the youngest. She was the closest to her father who was a mathematics teacher and the catalyst for Olga’s life long interest in mathematics. He started teaching his daughter mathematics in the summer of 1930 beginning with giving explanations of the basic notions of geometry, then he formulated a theorem and in turn made his daughters prove it. It became apparent that Olga showed a strong talent for logical thinking from an early age. Not only did she love to discuss mathematics with her father but she also studied calculus with him as an equal. Olga’s grandfather, Gennady Ladyzhensky, was a famous painter. All her life Olga carefully kept beautiful landscape paintings by her grandfather, some of them depicting fine views of the Unzha. Their house contained many books, including books on history and fine arts. Books were almost the only source of cultural education, especially since Kologriv was too far from cultural centers.

One would assume she had a pleasant upbringing in a quiet rural area with parents ensuring her mathematical gift was realized. In fact, this was not the case, though the story could only be told after the communist rule of Russia ended. During Olga’s upbringing, times were very hard especially for intellectuals descended from Russian nobility for whom everything was in short supply including food, paper, and clothes. However, this did not stop her father from inspiring his pupils and his daughters. Olga’s two sisters were forbidden to finish their studies, being expelled from school, but the authorities allowed Olga to finish her studies. However, Olga had problems continuing her education since she was the daughter of an “enemy of the nation”. When she was fifteen years old, in 1937, her father was arrested by Stalinist authorities and executed without trial. Alexander Solschenizyn recalls in his epic of The Gulag Archipelago that although Olga’s father had been warned by a peasant that he was on the list of enemies of the state, he refused to run and hide. He stood his ground and continued with his work since he believed his students depended on him. It is believed that he died in an NKVD (Narodny Kommissariat Vnutrennikh Del) torture chamber during the week between 23 and 30 October 1937 (one of many excellent teachers killed there). The NKVD was the forerunner of the KGB and it is important to note that in 1956 all the teachers killed by them were fully exonerated. During this time millions of suspected enemies were killed so that Stalin remained unchallenged as Soviet leader until his death. Reports have it that all the men from the old and well-off noble Ladyzhenskii family, who had not left Russia, vanished by the start of the 1940s. This tragedy deeply affected Ladyzhenskaya and the family was placed in a very difficult situation with her mother and sisters having to do craftwork and make dresses, shoes, soap, as this was their only way for their family to survive.

Google Doodle Celebrates Mathematician

It’s the first week of November, which means the leaves are about gone but the early-Black Friday sales have arrived in full force. As we reported earlier, Amazon is already offering holiday dealsCostco shared its massive holiday-sale catalog and Walmart’s already week-old Early Deals Drop seems to be getting better: See the latest Apple Watch Series 3 GPS Plus Cellular deal below. All this despite the fact that the big day doesn’t officially arrive until Nov. 29, followed three days later by Cyber Monday. Yep, it’s official: Black Friday Madness is upon us.

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It’s the first week of November, which means the leaves are about gone but the early-Black Friday sales have arrived in full force. As we reported earlier, Amazon is already offering holiday dealsCostco shared its massive holiday-sale catalog and Walmart’s already week-old Early Deals Drop seems to be getting better: See the latest Apple Watch Series 3 GPS Plus Cellular deal below. All this despite the fact that the big day doesn’t officially arrive until Nov. 29, followed three days later by Cyber Monday. Yep, it’s official: Black Friday Madness is upon us.

We got you. We’ll be tracking all the Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) deals between now and early December. And to make life easier, we’re cherry-picking the absolute best stuff — the items we think are genuinely good buys. See our preliminary picks below, followed by some general Black Friday info.

Olga Ladyzhenskaya Google Doodle

In 1939, despite leaving secondary school with excellent marks, Olga was forbidden to enter Leningrad State University as her father was thought of as an “enemy of the nation”. She was given a placement in the Pokrovski Teachers’ Training College, remarkably only based on her word, as Leningrad (now St Petersburg) had not yet returned her academic documents. It is possible she received this placement partly due to the fact that the state policy had changed during the difficult wartime period. When World War II began she was left with no choice but to leave Leningrad, first moving to Gorodets where she taught in an orphanage, and then moving with her mother and older sister to return to Kologriv. There she taught mathematics at the same local secondary school that her father had previously taught in. Following the same footsteps as her father, she taught not only at school but also at home without pay.

In 1943 she became a student at Moscow State University (MGU) due to the intervention of the mother of one of her pupils who, on returning to Moscow, persuaded the rector to invite Olga to MGU. It was not easy for her to leave her teaching post and there were many battles with the school authorities before she could become a student. At University Olga’s love of mathematics blossomed and she was awarded a Stalin stipend and a laborers ration card without which she would have been unable to survive. It was here where she first started studying algebra, number theory and subsequently partial differential equations. She became interested in the theory of partial differential equations due to the influence of Petrovsky as well as the book by Hilbert and Courant. Being a talented student, the authorities often ignored absences at compulsory lectures while she attended research seminars including the algebra seminars of Kurosh and Delone and the seminar on differential equations headed by Stepanov, Petrovsky, Tikhonov, Vekua and their students and colleagues. She was later invited to attend Gelfand’s seminar. At the end of her fourth year, she organized a youth seminar to study the theory of partial differential equations and persuaded Myshkis, a student of Petrovsky, to go with her to ask Petrovsky to chair the seminar. In addition to chairing this seminar, he attended the seminar for the whole year, clearing up questions and expressing his opinions on the topics. Not only did friends and colleagues of Petrovsky come to the seminars, but it also prompted him to write a paper published in Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk in 1946 which was highly influential. Olga chose the following two problems from that paper:

Find the least restrictive conditions on the behavior of parabolic equations under which the uniqueness theorem holds for the Cauchy problem. For hyperbolic equations, construct convergent difference schemes for the Cauchy problem and for initial-boundary problems.

After she graduated in 1947, Olga moved once again to Leningrad due to family circumstances and became a postgraduate at the Leningrad State University on the recommendation of MGU. There she began her long-standing friendship with Smirnov, who was in charge of several branches of mathematics as well as seismology, hydrodynamics, and aerodynamics. It was also here that she was strongly influenced to study the equations of mathematical physics. During that year she married Andrei Alexevich Kiselev, a specialist in the number theory and history of mathematics, in the city of Leningrad. They were a loving couple yet their marriage was brief as Andrei wanted to have children, but Olga did not as she wished to devote her life to mathematics and she felt that children might be an obstacle. Olga remained single for the rest of her life.