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Lev Genrikhovich Shnirelman

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2 Jan 1905

Gomel, Belarus

24 Sept 1938

Moscow, USSR

Lev Shnirelman entered the University of Moscow in 1921 at the age of 16. There he was taught by Khinchin , Luzin and Urysohn . He started research in algebra, geometry and topology as a student but did not consider his results sufficiently important to merit publication.

He was appointed to the chair of mathematics in Novocherkassk in 1929. Then in 1930 he returned to Moscow. From 1934 he worked at the Mathematical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences .

Shnirelman made significant contributions to topological methods in the calculus of variations . In 1930 he introduced important new ideas into number theory . Using these he was able to prove a weak form of the Goldbach's conjecture showing that every number is the sum of 20 primes .

The Goldbach conjecture that every even integer > 2 is the sum of two primes (or equivalently, that every integer is the sum of 3 primes) still stands.

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