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Dmitry Aleksandrovich Grave

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6 Sept 1863

Kirillov, Novgorod gubernia, Russia

19 Dec 1939

Kiev, Ukraine

Dmitry Grave was educated at the University of St Petersburg where he studied under Chebyshev and his pupils Korkin, Zolotarev and Markov . Grave began research while a student, graduating with his doctorate in 1896. He had obtained his masters degree in 1889 and, in that year, began teaching at the University of St Petersburg.

For his Master's Degree Grave studied Jacobi 's methods for the three body problem , a topic suggested by Korkin. His doctorate was on map projections, again a topic proposed by Korkin, the degree being awarded in 1896. The work, on equal area plane projections of the sphere, built on ideas of Euler , Lagrange and Chebyshev .

Grave became professor at Kharkov in 1897 and, from 1902, he was appointed professor at the University of Kiev, where he remained for the rest of his life. Grave is considered as the founder of the Kiev school of algebra which was to become the centre for algebra in the USSR.

At Kiev Grave studied algebra and number theory . In particular he worked on Galois theory , ideals and equations of the fifth degree. Among his pupils were O J Schmidt, N G Chebotaryov , B N Delone and A M Ostrowski .

The Revolution of 1917 had some major effects on the development of mathematics in Russia and the Ukraine. One effect was that mathematics in the Ukraine was required to be more practical and algebra did not fit into this applied mathematics and technology dominated scene. Grave had to discontinue his famous Kiev algebra seminar in the 1920s, give up teaching and research in algebra, and move to applied mathematics topics. It would not be before the 1950s, well after Grave's death, that Kiev would again play a major role in algebra research.

Grave chaired the Applied Mathematics Commission of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine in the 1920s. After Grave stopped work on algebra, he began to study mechanics and applied mathematics, but he never completely gave up algebra.

During the 1930s there were further changes to the Soviet educational system, and there was a fair amount of reorganisation. The Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences was founded in Kiev in 1934 and Grave served as the first director of the Institute from its foundation until his death in 1939. His work at Institute of Mathematics was in addition to his chir at Kiev University which he continued to hold.

Among the many books that Grave wrote were Theory of Finite Groups (1910) and A Course in Algebraic Analysis (1932). He also studied the history of algebraic analysis.

Among the honours that were given to him was election to the Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine in 1919, election to the Shevchenko Scientific Society in 1923 and election to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1929.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland