◀ ▲ ▶History / 20th-century / Person: Shafarevich, Igor Rostislavovich
Person: Shafarevich, Igor Rostislavovich
Igor Shafarevich was a Russian mathematician who worked in algebraic number theory and algebraic geometry. He was an important dissident during the Soviet era.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- However, he had gone through some extremely difficult times in the years before Igor Rostislavovich was born.
- Sviatoslav Richter, like Igor, was born Zhytomyr which was the Richter's home town.
- Shafarevich's first love was history and literature.
- Reading was easy for Shafarevich since his parents had many books in their apartment.
- The dean, realising that he had a very talented youngster in front of him, suggested that he could enrol Shafarevich as an external student even though he was still a schoolboy.
- He then sent Shafarevich to Boris Nikolaevich Delone who examined him in analytic geometry.
- Now Shafarevich's parents worried that his school studies would suffer if he spent all his time on university level mathematics so they only agreed to him undertaking these mathematical studies on the condition that he studied geometry in English and algebra in German.
- Shafarevich left school in 1939 after completing the ninth grade and never took the examinations for his high school diploma but, having taken most of the university examinations, went straight into the final undergraduate year at Moscow University.
- And when he saw Shafarevich's, the chief of police couldn't conceal his surprise: 'What's all this, then?
- ...' Shafarevich found this irresistible and burst out laughing.
- The university was evacuated to Tashkent in Uzbekistan, so Shafarevich went there.
- When the Shafarevichs' home was searched, they found German mathematics books that Shafarevich had studied and took them away as evidence but later they were returned and the Shafarevichs had no serious problems from the secret police.
- Shafarevich spent time in both these places, in particular during the time that the university was in Ashkhabad in 1942 he was awarded his candidate's degree (equivalent to a Ph.D.).
- By 1944 Shafarevich had begun teaching in the Mechanics and Mathematics Department (Meh-Mat) of Moscow University.
- Shafarevich was reinstated in 1953.
- However, it was clear to me that Shafarevich had negative feelings for Communism.
- At that time, Dostoevskii was not easily available in Russian, but Shafarevich quoted the very negative depiction of revolution from the famous novel 'Devils'.
- During his long mathematical life Shafarevich published no more than 50 research papers, but the influence of many of them on the development of number theory, group theory and algebraic geometry is difficult to overestimate.
- The highlights of Shafarevich's contribution to these fields can be briefly summarized as follows.
- His students report that their association and supervision by Shafarevich were among the happiest of their professional careers.
- In addition to his election to membership of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Shafarevich has been elected to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the German Academy Leopoldina, the Italian Accademia dei Lincei and the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
- We have already indicated that Shafarevich loved history, literature and music.
Born 3 June 1923, Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Died 19 February 2017, Moscow, Russia.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Algebra, Group Theory, Origin Ukraine, Puzzles And Problems
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive