Google Doodle Honours Olga Ladyzhenskaya on 97th Birth Anniversary

Mathematician Ladyzhenskaya was born in the rural town of Kologriv on 7 March 1922.

2 min read
Ladyzhenskaya was born in the rural town of Kologriv on 7 March 1922.

Google is celebrating 97th birth anniversary of Olga Ladyzhenskaya, a Russian mathematician who triumphed over personal tragedy and obstacles to become one of the most influential thinkers of her generation, with a special Doodle on Thursday, 7 March.

Ladyzhenskaya was born in the rural town of Kologriv on 7 March 1922. She was inspired by her father – a mathematician descended from Russian nobility – to love algebra, said the Google blogpost.

She was just 15 years of age when her father was jailed and executed by Soviet authorities who accused him of being an “enemy of the state.” Subsequently, her mother and sisters sold dresses, shoes, and soap to earn for a living, according to the blogpost.

Even though Ladyzhenskaya graduated from secondary school with excellent grades, she was still denied admission to Leningrad State University because of her family name.

After years of teaching math to secondary school students, Ladyzhenskaya finally got her chance when she studied under the renowned mathematician Ivan Petrovsky at the Moscow State University.

She earned her PhD and became the chairperson of the Laboratory of Mathematical Physics at the Steklov Mathematical Institute.

Later, even as the the economic pressures were mounting after the Soviet Union collapse, Ladyzhenskaya chose to stay in Russia, the blogpost said.

Ladyzhenskaya authored more than 250 papers and her methods for solving partial differential equations remain influential even to this day.

Ladyzhenskaya, who was also a lover of nature and the arts, became the president of the St. Petersburg Mathematical Society in 1990.

She was awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2002 for her impressive contributions to the world of mathematics.

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