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Person: Korkin, Aleksandr Nikolaevich
Aleksandr Korkin was a Russian mathematician whose major contribution was to the development of partial differential equations.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Korkin entered Vologda Gymnasium in 1847.
- Korkin continued to study at the Gymnasium showing remarkable abilities.
- Life as an undergraduate was hard for Korkin.
- Korkin also discussed problems on the calculus of variation in his essay.
- Bunyakovsky judged the student submissions and awarded Korkin the Gold Medal, recommending that the essay be published in The Student Anthology which happened in the following year.
- Korkin graduated in 1858, qualifying to teach mathematics.
- Korkin was sent abroad to prepare for becoming a professor.
- Korkin attended lectures by Liouville, Lamé and Bertrand in Paris, returned briefly to Russia in May 1863, then went to Germany where he attended lectures by Kummer, Weierstrass and others in Berlin.
- In May 1868 Korkin was appointed by the Council of St Petersburg University as an extraordinary professor in the Department of Mathematics.
- Aleksei Nikolaevich Krylov was taught by Korkin at the Naval Academy, graduating in 1890, and took over Korkin's lecturing position there in 1900.
- Korkin's mathematical expertise was extremely broad within both pure mathematics and mathematical physics.
- One of Korkin's major contributions was to the development of partial differential equations.
- Initially Korkin was unimpressed with Zolotarev's investigation of an indeterminate equation of degree three which he presented in his Master' thesis.
- Korkin wrote a critical report on the thesis.
- Hermite, whom Korkin greatly admired, had studied the minimum value of a quadratic form as a function of its coefficients.
- When Delone became Korkin's student in the 1890s, Korkin was interested in cartographic projections and it was on that topic that he directed Delone's dissertation of 1896.
- Taking notes from his lectures was easy; however, later on in his career Korkin came to the conclusion that he should dictate his lectures, attributed to his lack of faith in his hearers' ability to write them down well enough.
- Through his ability to draw on a broad knowledge of various branches of mathematics, Korkin often set very difficult problems; these he proposed to the best of his students.
- Almost till the end of his life his home was always open on "Korkin Saturdays", as they came to be called, to anyone wanting advice, or to talk mathematics.
Born 19 February 1837, Zhidovinovo, Tot'ma, Vologda, Russia. Died 1 September 1908, St Petersburg, Russia.
View full biography at MacTutor
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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