OLGA LADYZHENSKAYA? FACTS ABOUT THE FAMOUS RUSSIAN MATHEMATICIAN, Google celebrated pioneering Russian mathematician Olga Ladyzhenskaya, known for her influential work on partial differential equations and fluid dynamics.

Her work on 19th-century “Navier-Stokes equations” helps meteorologists figure out the path of storm clouds, among many other uses.

The mathematician was born in Kologriv—a small town in the west of Russia—on March 7 1922, months before the Soviet Union was founded. Her math teacher father fuelled her interest in the academic subject, but he was arrested in 1939 and ultimately killed.

In the late 1930s, the Soviet Union persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of its own people. Those perceived as opponents of Joseph Stalin were targeted in a time of feverish political paranoia.

Because of her father’s execution, Ladyzhenskaya could not enroll in Leningrad State University after finishing secondary school. The budding mathematician eventually attended Moscow State University after teaching at a high school for several years.

After graduating from Moscow State in 1947, she went on to attend Leningrad State as a graduate student, according to an obituary published by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). It was here that she defended a doctoral dissertation focusing on partial differential equations, the society reported.

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