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Last Updated : Mar 07, 2019 11:32 AM IST | Source:

Olga Ladyzhenskaya: Google's Doodle celebrates Russian mathematician's 97th birthday

Ladyzhenskaya credited her passion and inspiring love for mathematics to her father, who was a mathematics teacher.

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom

Google is celebrating the 97th birth anniversary of Russian mathematician Olga Ladyzhenskaya by dedicating a doodle and a YouTube video recalling her life and achievements today.

The Google doodle features her caricature in an elliptical shape with a Navier–Stokes equation, paying homage to her work involving linear and quasilinear elliptic equations. Ladyzhenskaya provided the first rigorous proofs of the convergence of a finite difference method for the Navier–Stokes equations.

Her work on differential equation led to several developments in the study of fluid dynamics and paved the way for advances in weather forecasting, oceanography, aerodynamics, and cardiovascular science.

Ladyzhenskaya credited her passion and inspiring love for mathematics to her father, who was a mathematics teacher.

Olga Aleksandrovna Ladyzhenskaya was born on March 7, 1922, in Kologriv in the Soviet Union.

Her early life, however, was filled with numerous hurdles including incarceration and the subsequent murder of her father. Ladyzhenskaya's father, a descendant from Russian nobility, was executed by the Soviet authorities after being labelled as an "enemy of the state". She was just 15 when her father was executed.

After her father's death, her mother and sisters had to sell dresses to make ends meet.

Ladyzhenskaya was even denied admission to Leningrad State University, one of the oldest and one of the largest universities in Russia, despite obtaining excellent grades in high school due to her family's background. She, however, got a second chance after the death of the then Premier of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin in 1952.

Olga Ladyzhenskaya presented her doctoral thesis and was given her degree in 1953 after being taught by the famous Soviet mathematician Ivan Petrovsky. She went on to teach at the Leningrad University and at the Steklov Institute.

Ladyzhenskaya stayed in Russia even after the Soviet Union collapsed and the country witnessed a rapid salary deflation for professors.

She died on January 12, 2004, in St Petersburg, Russia, at the age of 81.
First Published on Mar 7, 2019 11:31 am
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