by Boris CHETVERUSHKIN, RAS Corresponding Member, head of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Konstantin BRUSHLINSKY, Dr. Sc. (Phys. & Math.), Chief Research Associate of the Keldysh Institute
This is the birth centenary of Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh, an outstanding Soviet scientist who has made a signal contribution in a variety of fields, mathematics and mechanics in particular. In 1961 through 1975 he headed the national Academy of Sciences. Dr. Keldysh was in for many kudos and awards. Thrice Hero of the Soviet Union (1956, 1961, 1971); winner of the Lenin Prize (1957) and two Stalin Prizes (1942, 1946). We find this information in encyclopedias and handbooks. Yet a good deal-perhaps the most important things-are not said or else downplayed there. To us who knew Keldysh very well and who worked under his guidance, he is above all the founder and the first director of our Institute that in 1978 was named for him. We could see and hear this man and feel his impact on the performance of our collective.
Keldysh was a man of extraspecial talents and marvelous capacity for work. A likable man of great charisma, he carried immense authority. He belongs to a cohort of scientists who chartered new trends in science that changed the course of human history. Although he did not live a very long life, he made a giant contribution to science and engineering, to our culture and history. And yet many from among the present generation of college and university students–even those majoring in applied mathematics–know but little about Keldysh. His life and work are covered in a collection brought out by Nauka Publishers (M. V. Keldysh: Creative Portrait). Prepared for the press by the Russian Academy of Sciences jointly with the Institute of Applied Mathematics and the Keldysh museum, this book appeared in 2001 and 2002 in two small prints. It carries articles and reminiscences of his contemporaries, the ... Читать далее