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 Leonid Kantorovich

Born:   January 19, 1912
Deceased:   April 7, 1986

Soviet mathematician and economist, Nobel Prize winner, one of the founders of linear programming


Leonid Kantorovich was the only Soviet winner of the  Nobel Prize in economy. It was the Nobel Prize 1975 "for contribution into the theory of optimum resource allocation". One of the founders of linear programming, Leonid Kantorovich held honorary titles of the universities of Glasgow, Grenoble, Nice, Helsinki, and Paris. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Leonid Kantorovich was born into a doctor's family in St. Petersburg on January 19, 1912.
In 1926 the boy entered the Mathematics Faculty of the Leningrad University and graduated it at the age of 18. Afterwards Leonid Kantorovich took up teaching at the university and continued his studies at the Mathematics Department. At the age of 22 he became a professor, and a year later got the Doctor's degree in Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
Until 1960 Leonid Kantorovich worked at the Mechanics and Mathematics Faculty of the Leningrad State University and the Leningrad Department of the Mathematical Institute of the USSR. This is where he came up with the famous linear programming model to optimize the resource utilization process.
In 1939 he published the thesis Mathematical Methods for Organizing and Planning of Production, which described economical challenges amenable to the mathematical method discovered by him and thus laid the foundations of linear programming.
Subsequently, a similar methodology was independently developed by Tjalling Charles Koopmans and other economists in the West.
In 1942 Leonid Kantorovich completed his main treatise Economic Calculation of the Best Possible Use of Resources. The results of these studies found particular application in the Soviet defense industry and gained thier author  the Staln Award in 1949.
In 1958 Leonid Kantorovich was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and two years later moved to Novosibirsk, where the country's most advanced computer center was established. He headed research works in the field of economic and mathematical methods. In this period the scientist was conferred the Lenin Award for development of optimization approach to the planned management of economy (1965).
The mathematician lived in Novosibirsk until his moving to Moscow in 1971.
In 1975 Leonid Kantorovich together with Tjalling Charles Koopmans was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics "for contribution into the theory of optimum resource allocation". The works on linear programming authored by Leonid Kantorovich and Tjalling Ch. Koopmans were closely related, and the American scientist prepared the first publication of the Russian economist's book in English in 1939.
In 1976 Leonid Kantorovich headed the Institute of System Studies, USSR Academy of Sciences.
Leonid Kantorovich died in Moscow on April 7, 1986 and was laid down to rest at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

Tags: Leonid Kantorovich Russian Scientists    

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