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Aleksei Nikolaevich Krylov

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15 Aug 1863

Visyaga, Simbirskoy (now Ulyanovskaya), Russia

26 Oct 1945

Leningrad, USSR (now St Petersburg, Russia)

Aleksei Krylov entered the Maritime High School in St Petersburg in 1878. He graduated in 1884 and was appointed to the compass unit of the Main Hydrographic Administration. There he began work on compass deviation, a topic he would return to many times.

In 1880 Krylov joined the department of ship construction of St Petersburg Maritime Academy. There he was taught mathematics by A N Korkin, a student of Chebyshev . He graduated in 1890 and stayed there to teach for almost 50 years.

Krylov worked on what Euler called 'naval science', namely the theories of buoyancy, stability, rolling and pitching, vibrations, compass theories etc.

In 1914 Krylov was awarded a doctorate in applied mathematics from Moscow University. From 1927 until 1932 he was director of the Physics - Mathematics Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Krylov improved Fourier 's method for solving boundary value problems in a 1905 paper and gave many applications. His work led him to study the acceleration of convergence of Fourier series and the approximate solutions to differential equations .

In 1931 he found a new method of solving the secular equation which determines the frequency of vibrations in mechanical systems which is better than methods due to Lagrange , Laplace , Jacobi and Le Verrier .

In 1943 Krylov was awarded a state prize for his compass theory work and made a hero of socialist labour.

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