Person: Delone, Boris Nikolaevich
Boris Delone was a Russion mathematician who worked on algebra and the geometry of numbers. He was an outstanding mountain-climber.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Meanwhile, Boris Nikolaevich was also falling in love with science turning the room in his home into a physics laboratory and, at the age of fifteen, building his own telescope with a bronze mirror which he polished himself.
- In 1908-1909 the eighteen-year-old Delone flew the gliders he was constructing, so becoming one of the first Russian glider pilots.
- At this stage in his career, Grave was undertaking research in algebra and number theory, particularly Galois theory and the theory of ideals, and it was these topics that formed Delone's areas of research.
- We should also mention Delone's influence on Nikolai Grigorievich Chebotaryov, who began studying under Grave in 1912.
- Delone continued his passion for mountaineering and by the time he graduated in 1913, he had become one of the three leading mountaineers in Russia.
- Delone, however, chose to continue to study algebra and so was forced, in the 1920s, to leave the Ukraine.
- Delone moved to Petrograd in 1922.
- Petrograd was the name that St Petersburg had been given in 1914 and, two years after Delone began working there, in 1924, it was again renamed, this time to Leningrad.
- Delone worked at Leningrad University from 1922 until 1935.
- Nikolai Borisovich became a professor of physics with a high international reputation in nuclear physics.
- However the Society was reformed in 1921 as the Petrograd Physical and Mathematical Society and Delone joined in the following year after his move to Petrograd.
- In this field Boris Nikolaevich originated two deep methods - "The method of the empty sphere" and "The method of the foliated construction".
- In number theory, Delone studied cubic fields, in particular investigating the correspondence between binary cubic forms and rings in cubic fields.
- The 1917 Revolution had made it impossible for Delone to go mountaineering for a number of years but he was able to start climbing again in the West Caucasus in 1923.
- The third highest mountain in the Altai range, the 4070 m Delone Peak, close to Mt Belukha, has been named after Delone.
- In addition to Delone Peak, there is also Delone Col and Delone Pass (3400 m) leading to the Mensu glacier.
- In 1930 Delone was named "Master of Soviet mountaineering" and around the same time he organised mountaineering camps, being the first person to do so.
- Vinogradov invited some outstanding mathematicians to join the new Mathematical Institute including Delone.
- From 1932 to 1960 Delone was Head of the Department of Algebra in Steklov Mathematical Institute and from 1960 to 1980 he was Head of the Department of Geometry.
- However, the Steklov Mathematical Institute moved to Moscow and, in 1935 Delone also moved to Moscow.
- Delone published a number of important monographs.
- Delone was also involved with secondary school mathematics, and in 1934, together with his pupil V A Tartakovskii, initiated and organized the first School Mathematics Olympiad.
- At Moscow State University, Delone taught a course on computers and in 1952 published A short course in mathematical machines.
Born 15 March 1890, St Petersburg, Russia. Died 17 July 1980, Moscow, Russia.
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive