**Boris Gnedenko** was a Soviet mathematician best known for his work in probability theory.

- In 1927, when he was only fifteen years old, Gnedenko tried to enter the University of Saratov.
- Gnedenko himself wrote of his reasons for studying mathematics at university.
- It is worth noting at this stage that Gnedenko's choice of mathematics did not save him from having the most severe problems with the Soviet authorities later in his life, as we describe below.
- Gnedenko, as might be expected, was one of the group leaders who took the examinations and his whole group were awarded the high grades which he scored.
- From 1930 Gnedenko taught at the Textile Institute in Ivanovo.
- It was during this period that Gnedenko published his first papers on probability and statistics.
- In 1934 Gnedenko decided to resume his university studies at postgraduate level.
- Although Khinchin supervised Gnedenko's studies initially, he left in 1935 to spend two years at Saratov University, and Kolmogorov then took over as Gnedenko's supervisor.
- In June 1937 Gnedenko was examined on his doctoral dissertation on the theory of infinitely divisible distributions.
- During the summer of 1937 Gnedenko went on a hiking expedition to the Caucasus along with some fellow researchers.
- After taking up his post as a research assistant in November 1937, Gnedenko was conscripted into the Red Army on 1 December.
- Gnedenko was imprisoned with 120 other prisoners in a cell built for six people and was constantly interrogated about statements he had made on the summer trip.
- From 1938 Gnedenko lectured at Moscow State University.
- In 1945, on the recommendation of Kolmogorov, Gnedenko was elected to the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.
- In 1949 Gnedenko was appointed as Head of the Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry Section of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev and he became Director of the Kiev Institute of Mathematics.
- Gnedenko produced a remarkable number of papers and books during his lifetime.
- The book is based on courses given by Gnedenko and Kolmogorov at Moscow and Lvov universities.
- One of Gnedenko's most famous books is Course in the Theory of Probability which first appeared in 1950.
- In his early work Gnedenko had been interested in probability as an abstract topic.
- Gnedenko was not only interested in research into mathematical topics, but he was also interested in the teaching of these topics.
- The topics covered in this book are interesting in themselves and also, in the present context, because they tell us a good deal about Gnedenko's approach to mathematics.
- Gnedenko's interest in the history of mathematics extended well beyond his text aimed at secondary school pupils.
- He published much on this topic (we list at least twelve articles in the References sections of the archive authored by Gnedenko) including the important Outline of the History of Mathematics in Russia which was not published until 1946 although he wrote it before the start of World War II.
- For example in discussing the pre-eighteenth century, Gnedenko considers the cultural influence of the medieval church and the role of the calendar.
- To complete our account of Gnedenko we should give a feeling for his personality.
- Speaking on any topic, Gnedenko did not insist on his insights although he did not hide them.
- Gnedenko enjoyed classical music, and had a large collection of records.

Born 1 January 1912, Simbirsk (now Ulyanovskaya), Russia. Died 27 December 1995, Moscow, Russia.

View full biography at MacTutor

Origin Russia, Statistics

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