After creation of Kharkov University (founded in 17th, November, 1804; opened in 29th, January, 1805) "Physical and Mathematical Sciences Department'' became one of its main departments. From the early days there was rather high level of mathematical tuition in it, and in the second half of XIX and at the beginnning of XX century such outstanding persons as A.M.Lyapunov, Imshenetsky, V.A.Steklov, S.N.Bernstein worked at Kharkov.  Just these scientists had begun to form Kharkov's image as a city of high mathematical culture.


We build this Knowledge Pyramid from ancient times of wise Euclid!


It must be noted, that when we talk about a city with certain cultural and scientific traditions in one or another field, we understand, indeed, that these traditions couldn't appear in blank space. As a rule, they have been created by several outstanding, brightly talented people, which were gathering followers and disciples around themselves. In such a way something is formed that could be named as "Scientific school". And such schools just determine really the image of intellectual center.

As to Kharkov, there are three basic mathematical schools formed in it during last 130-140 years: mathematical physics, geometry and fuction theory ones. Works of these school scientist, without any exaggeration, have got recognition throughout in the world, and we are proud of this fact.

In the middle of XX century, i.e. in the years before and after the war, mathematical Kharkov was associated with such famous scientists as Naum Ilyich Akhiezer, Boris Yakovlevich Levin, Vladimir Alexandrovich Marchenko, Alexey Vasilyevich Pogorelov... They are the highest level mathematicians! And it's not the simple set of words. Specialists in the field of mathematical physics all over the world know about "Marchenko equation", and geometrists - about Pogorelov theorems in convex surface theory. Long ago Achiezer's monographs (on approximation  theory and operator theory), and Levin's ones  (on whole functions theory) had become classics in world mathematical literature. If even we would say nothing about the A.V.Pogorelov important contribution to learning mathematics (his works were pointed by numerous home and forein prizes), we must say, that he succeeded as somebody greater than outstanding mathematician. He wrote quite excellent school manual. Professionals know how complex and important is this work. It's enough to remember Euclid. There are not so many famous theorems, belonging to him. But he created such books on mathematics that determined structure of mathemalical knowledge in the world for many future centures. "Geometry" by Academician Pogorelov is the most perfect modern manual. On the one hand, it's constructed on strict axiomatic basis, on the other hand - it's written in bright and easy manner. Nowadays └.V.Pogorelov is Honorary citizen of Kharkov.

Among the next generation of Kharkov mathematicians Member of NAS of Ukraine L.A.Pastur and Corresponding Members of NAS of Ukraine E.J.Khruslov, J.V.Ostrovsky, V.G.Drinfeld are worthy to be mentioned. Apropos, Vladimir Gershonovich Drinfeld is the unique Filds Prize laureate in Ukraine. This reward for mathematicians is analogous of Nobel Prize. It awards once every four years at International Mathematical Congress.

I'm sure, that we woudn't sin against truth, saying that either in pre-revolutionary Russia, or in the Soviet Union, or in the independent Ukraine Kharkov is the highest level center of mathematical culture.


K.V.Maslov, ILTPE of NAS of Ukraine  

See also  Mathematics in ILTPE (in Russian)
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