Keldysh Mstislav Vsevolodovich, world famous mathematician and physicist of Russian origin, father of space flights, was born on February 10, 1911 in Riga. His father was a civil engineer During World war I Mstislav Keldysh and his family moved to Moscow. Mstislav graduated from Moscow State University in 1931 and later worked in TsAGI (Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute). In 1932 young scientist became a docent (assistant professor), and five years later – a professor after defending his Doctor of Science dissertation, which title was “Complex Variable and Harmonic Functions Representation by Polynomial Series”. Since 1936 Mstislav Keldysh was employed in the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and in 1946 he became a full member of the Academy.
His scientific research was dedicated mostly to hydro- and aerodynamics and mathematics. Mstislav Keldysh founded the Institute of Applied Mathematics and headed it in 1953. The scientist studied motion of bodies under surface of liquid, developed theories of fluid blast, air propeller and wing oscillation. The mathematician studied behaviour of aircraft constructions under certain conditions (flutter and shimmy effects, which was very important, because said effects were the main cause of the aircraft catastrophes at the time). Keldysh found general solution for Zhukovsky’s theorem of lifting capacity and obtained essential results in the complex variable theory.
Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh was a member and honoured member of many foreign societies and academies of sciences. He was awarded “Hero of Socialist Labour” three times (in 1956, 1961 and 1971). In 1961 Mstislav Keldysh was elected Chairman of Soviet Academy of Sciences and held this position until 1975. Great mathematician died in 1978 in Moscow.
His name was immortalized in the research vessel “Akademic Keldysh”, an asteroid and a crater on the Moon, as well as in the name of the scientific Institute of Applied Mathematics.