Andrey Kolmogorov

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Andrey Nikolaevich Kolmogorov (Russian: Андре́й Никола́евич Колмого́ров) (25 April 1903 – 20 October 1987) was a Soviet Russian mathematician, preeminent in the 20th century, who advanced various scientific fields, among them probability theory, topology, intuitionistic logic, turbulence, classical mechanics and computational complexity.



Early life

Kolmogorov was born at Tambov in 1903. His unwed mother died in childbirth and he was raised by his aunts in Tunoshna near Yaroslavl at the estate of his grandfather, a wealthy nobleman. His father, an agronomist by trade, was deported from Saint-Petersburg for participation in the revolutionary movement. He disappeared and was presumed to have been killed in the Russian Civil War.

Kolmogorov was educated in his aunt's village school, and his earliest literary efforts and mathematical papers were printed in the school newspaper. As an adolescent he designed perpetual motion machines, concealing their (necessary) defects so cleverly that his secondary-school teachers could not discover them. In 1910, his aunt adopted him and then they moved to Moscow, where he went to a gymnasium, graduating from it in 1920.

In 1920, Kolmogorov began to study at the Moscow State University and the Chemistry Technological Institute.

Kolmogorov gained a reputation for his wide-ranging erudition. As an undergraduate, he participated in the seminars of the Russian historian S.V. Bachrushin, and he published his first research paper on the landholding practices in the Novgorod Republic in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.[1] At the same time (1921–1922), Kolmogorov derived and proved several results in set theory and in the theory of Fourier series (trigonometrical series).


In 1922 Kolmogorov constructed a Fourier series that diverges almost everywhere, gaining international recognition. Around this time he decided to devote his life to mathematics. In 1925 Kolmogorov graduated from Moscow State University, and began to study under the supervision of Nikolai Luzin. He made lifelong friends with Pavel Alexandrov who involved Kolmogorov in 1936 in an ugly political persecution of their common teacher, the so-called Luzin case or Luzin affair. Kolmogorov (together with A. Khinchin) became interested in probability theory. Also in 1925, he published his famous work in intuitionistic logicOn the principle of the excluded middle. In 1929 Kolmogorov earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree, Ph.D., at the Moscow State University.

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