**Abram Besicovitch** was a Russian mathematician who worked mainly in England on functions of a real variable, analytic functions and almost periodic functions.

- Samuel Besicovitch had been a jeweller but his jeweller's shop had hit hard times through theft and he gave up the business and became a cashier.
- This in itself presented problems since, as Valentina Vietalievna was of the Orthodox faith and Besicovitch was a Karaim, they were not allowed to marry.
- Besicovitch was accepted into the Russian Orthodox Church so that the marriage could take place.
- In 1917 the University of Perm became an independent institution and in that year Besicovitch was appointed professor of mathematics there.
- As the Red Army had approached, all the staff except Besicovitch had left the University.
- Perm suffered badly in the troubles of 1919 despite the best efforts of Besicovitch to protect the books and other university property.
- Besicovitch had to teach people without any educational background and he was very unhappy.
- Besicovitch left Petrograd for Copenhagen in 1924 and there worked with Harald Bohr.
- After he visited Oxford in 1925 Hardy, who quickly saw the mathematical genius in Besicovitch, found a post for him in Liverpool.
- At Cambridge Besicovitch lectured on analysis in most years but he also gave an advanced course on a topic which was directly connected with his research interests such as almost periodic functions, Hausdorff measure, or the geometry of plane sets.
- Besicovitch never seems to have been troubled in this way.
- Besicovitch, around 1930, extended his density properties of sets to those of finite Hausdorff measure.
- The figures that resulted from Besicovitch's construction were highly complicated, unbounded figures.
- Other areas on which Besicovitch worked included geometric measure theory, Hausdorff measure, real function theory, and complex function theory.
- In addition to this work on deep mathematical theories, Besicovitch loved problems, particularly those which could be stated in elementary terms but which proved resistant to attack.
- Besicovitch showed that this was false and that the man had a path which meant that the lion would never catch him, although he would come arbitrarily close.
- Besicovitch received many honours for his work.

Born 24 January 1891, Berdyansk, Russia. Died 2 November 1970, Cambridge, England.

View full biography at MacTutor

Analysis, Geometry, Origin Russia

**Oâ€™Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive