Updated: March 7, 2019 11:53:24 am
Olga Ladyzhenskaya Google Doodle: Google Wednesday honoured Russian mathematician Olga Ladyzhenskaya on her 97th birth anniversary. The mathematician, known for her work on partial differential equations and fluid dynamics, overcame her personal tragedies to become one of the most influential thinkers of her generation.
Born on March 7, 1922, in Kologriv, Russia, Ladyzhenskaya faced several hardships in her early life. She was just 15-years-old when her father, who was a mathematician descended from Russian nobility, was imprisoned and subsequently executed by Soviet authorities on charges of being an “enemy of the state”. To make ends meet, her mother and sisters sold dresses, shoes, and soap.
Ladyzhenskaya was denied admission to the Leningrad State University because of her family name, despite her having excellent grades in secondary school. Subsequently, Ladyzhenskaya, who was inspired to love algebra by her father, started teaching Math to secondary school students.
After years of teaching, Ladyzhenskaya finally got the chance to attend Moscow State University where she studied under renowned mathematician Ivan Petrovsky. She earned her PhD and went on to head the Laboratory of Mathematical Physics at the Steklov Mathematical Institute.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ladyzhenskaya decided to stay in Russia despite the rapid reduction in salary of professors.
Ladyzhenskaya wrote over 250 papers in her lifetime and achieved recognition for her methods for solving partial differential equations, especially Hilbert’s 19th problem. She also became the president of St Petersburg Mathematical Society in 1990.
She was awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2002 for her impressive contributions to the world of mathematics.
Ladyzhenskaya died on January 12, 2004, at the age of 81.
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