**Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin** was a mathematician who was born in what is now Azerbaijan and worked in algebraic topology and geometry.

- In particular, his mathematics teacher M Ustimenko was outstanding and quickly saw Rokhlin's potential.
- Rokhlin's interest in mathematics is so strong that he independently studied the beginnings of calculus, analytical geometry and higher algebra.
- Shortly before his sixteenth birthday, in August 1935, Rokhlin entered the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics at Moscow University having received the special permission necessary to begin university studies at such a young age.
- Few can have had more impressive lecturers and Rokhlin thrived in the atmosphere of research.
- By this time Rokhlin was undertaking research supervised by Plessner.
- By the following month Hitler had plans to take both Leningrad and Moscow and Rokhlin volunteered to fight on the front with the Moscow People's Volunteer Corps.
- As we noted at the beginning of this biography, Rokhlin was Jewish so in much greater danger from the violent anti-Semitism of the Nazis.
- By 1943 the Russians were pushing the Germans back and in January 1945 the camp where Rokhlin was being held was liberated.
- Rokhlin was cleared in June, despite having to justify how he had hidden the fact that he was a Jew without committing treason.
- therefore we consider that in the interests of the development of Soviet mathematics it would be extremely desirable to permit V A Rokhlin to return in as short a time as possible to his graduate studies in order to continue his scientific work under our supervision.
- Wheels moved slowly and it was almost a year after this letter was written, in December 1946, that Rokhlin was allowed to return to Moscow where he was employed as Pontryagin's secretary.
- He began running a seminar on ergodic theory at Moscow University and influenced several of the younger mathematicians such as Vladimir Igorevich Arnold and Sergei Petrovich Novikov.
- He wanted to build up all the scientific departments and, in 1961, he invited Rokhlin to the chair of geometry at Leningrad.
- Rokhlin accepted the offer and, for the first time in his career, was in a position appropriate to his talents.
- It was not Rokhlin, but his graduate students who conducted these lessons.
- Rokhlin regarded the course as a theoretical one and did not wish to spend the lecture time to solving problems.
- The last group unfortunately did not find sufficient expression in publications, but it continually occupied Rokhlin and his ideas, which he often presented in talks and public lectures, are sufficiently well known and exerted an influence on those around him.
- There can be little doubt that Rokhlin's health problems were consequences of the years of extreme hardship he had suffered when a young man.
- Rokhlin died following a heart attack in 1984.

Born 23 August 1919, Baku, Russian Empire (now Azerbaijan). Died 3 December 1984, Leningrad, USSR (now St Petersburg, Russia).

View full biography at MacTutor

Origin Azerbaijan, Topology

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