Lev Pontryagin

Lev Semenovich Pontryagin (Russian: Лев Семёнович Понтрягин, also written Pontriagin or Pontrjagin) (3 September 1908 – 3 May 1988) was a Soviet mathematician. He was born in Moscow and lost his eyesight completely due to an unsuccessful eye surgery after a primus stove explosion when he was 14. Despite his blindness he was able to become one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, partially with the help of his mother Tatyana Andreevna who read mathematical books and papers (notably those of Heinz Hopf, J. H. C. Whitehead, and Hassler Whitney) to him. He made major discoveries in a number of fields of mathematics, including optimal control, algebraic topology and differential topology.

Lev Pontryagin
Lev Semenovich Pontryagin (left)
Born(1908-09-03)3 September 1908
Died3 May 1988(1988-05-03) (aged 79)
NationalitySoviet Union
Known forPontryagin duality
Pontryagin class
Pontryagin cohomology operation
Pontryagin's maximum principle
Andronov–Pontryagin criterion
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics
Doctoral advisorPavel Alexandrov
Doctoral studentsDmitri Anosov
Vladimir Boltyansky
Revaz Gamkrelidze
Evgenii Mishchenko [ru]
Mikhail Postnikov
Mikhail Zelikin

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