Person: Suslin, Mikhail Yakovlevich
Mikhail Suslin was a Russian mathematician who worked in general topology and descriptive set theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- At this school, situated across the road from the Suslins' home, he was taught by Vera Andreevna Teplogorskaya-Smirnova who quickly recognised Suslin's potential.
- She deserves great credit, not only for spotting his talents in the few months he studied there, but also in persuading the better-off people in the village to provide funds to allow Suslin to continue his education.
- This private school only opened in 1905 and, five years later while Suslin was still a pupil, it became a state grammar school.
- While attending the school in Balashov, Suslin lodged at the home of a merchant by the name of Bezborodov.
- In the summer of 1913, Suslin applied to the Department of Mathematics in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of Moscow University and his application was approved.
- Beginning in session 1914-15, Suslin began to work with Nikolai Nikolaevich Luzin who had just returned to Moscow after studying at Göttingen for several years under Edmund Landau.
- Suslin was not the only student joining Luzin's group, for D E Menshov, A Ya Khinchin and P S Aleksandrov also joined.
- Medicine was to be the final part of this plan, and to this subject Suslin intended to devote his whole future life.
- Although only in his second year as an undergraduate, Suslin began to undertake research.
- Luzin suggested that his students work on Borel sets and asked Suslin to read Henri Lebesgue's 1905 paper Sur les functions representables analytiquement Ⓣ(On functions representable analytically).
- At the same time Suslin was working with P S Aleksandrov on a problem suggested by Luzin, namely investigating whether the converse of a result found by Aleksandrov was true.
- Aleksandrov had proved that every Borel set can be obtained by applying an operation (named an A-operation by Suslin) to a closed set.
- While reading Lebesgue's paper Suslin discovered that one of the lemmas (stated by Lebesgue without proof) was false.
- My extremely persistent speculations only ceased when it became known early in the autumn of 1916 that Suslin had constructed during that summer an example of an A-set that is not a B-set and so had inaugurated a new stage in the development of the whole descriptive theory of sets.
- In 1924 (five years after Suslin's death), AAA-sets were renamed Suslin sets by Felix Hausdorff in his new edition of Grundzüge der Mengenlehre Ⓣ(General set theory).
- Suslin graduated from Moscow University in 1917 with the top grade in every examination he took.
- In March 1917 Luzin requested that Suslin carry on his studies so that he might gain a professorship.
- During his studies at the university Suslin was mainly interested in the theory of functions of a real variable.
- Their existence until then had been denied by the French mathematical school following the errors in the classical memoir of Lebesgue which were also revealed by Suslin.
- Suslin knows the French and German languages.
- The request was granted but Suslin became worried about his future, with no financial assistance for his studies.
- It seems that Suslin's health was also causing him concern.
- Acting on his advice, A Ya Khinchin, D E Menshov and M Ya Suslin also moved there and, like Luzin, taught at the Ivanovo Polytechnic Institute.
- Suslin, however, did not get on well at Ivanovo and soon lost his job there.
- We need to look more deeply at why Suslin "did not get on well at Ivanovo".
- Even before going to Ivanovo, Suslin explained that he was ill but was still persuaded to take up a teaching position there.
- The severe cold and lack of food exacerbated Suslin's health problems.
- Therefore we all wish to have M Ya Suslin among our lecturers in the future, and we ask for the cooperation of the Council of Professors.
- Of course Suslin could not resign immediately so had to teach until 1 September.
- But he did not give it and did not support Suslin for a teaching post at Saratov.
- When Suslin did not get the post, he went away to his home in the country (in the Province of Saratov).
- Two further short papers by Suslin appeared after his death.
Born 15 November 1894, Krasavka, Balashov, Saratov Oblast, Russia. Died 21 December 1919, Krasavka, Balashov, Saratov Oblast, 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