Dimitri Feddrovich Egorov

Born: 22 Dec 1869 in Moscow, Russia
Died: 10 Sept 1931 in Kazan, USSR

[Mathematiker Bild]

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Dimitri Egorov attended school in Moscow then entered Moscow University to study mathematics and physics, enrolling in 1887. The teacher to influence him most at this time was Bugaev. Egorov wrote his first paper in 1892 on numerical integrals and derivatives clearly influenced by Bugaev's work in this area.

Egorov taught at Moscow University from 1894, obtaining a doctorate in 1901. He spent a year abroad, then in 1903 he returned to become a professor at Moscow University.

Egorov worked on triply orthogonal systems and potential surfaces, making a major contribution to differential geometry. Some of Egorov's work was presented by Darboux in his famous four volume work Lecons sur la théorie général des surfaces et les applications géométriques du calcul infinitésimal .

Egorov also worked on integral equations and a theorem in the theory of functions of a real variable is named after him. Luzin was Egorov's first student and became a member of the school Egorov created in Moscow dealing with functions of a real variable.

In 1917 Egorov became secretary of the Moscow Mathematical Society. Then in 1921 he was elected vice-president, becoming president the following year. In 1923 Egorov became director of the Institute for Mechanics and Mathematics at Moscow State University.

However Egorov was a deeply religious man and when the Church was repressed after the revolution, Egorov defended them. In 1922-23 there were mass execution of clergy and in 1928 the attack was renewed. Egorov was in a position of power in the Moscow Mathematical Society and he tried to shelter academics who had been dismissed from their posts. He tried to prevent the attempt to impose Marxist methodology on scientists.

In 1929 Egorov was dismissed as director of the Institute for Mechanics and Mathematics and given a public rebuke.

Some time later he was arrested as a "religious sectarian" and put in prison. The Moscow Mathematical Society continued to support Egorov, refusing to expel him, and those who presented papers at the next meeting, including Kurosh, were to be expelled by an "Initiative group" took over the Society in November 1930. They expelled Egorov denouncing him as

a reactionary and a churchman.
Egorov went on a hunger strike in prison and eventually, by this time close to death, he was taken to the prison hospital in Kazan. Chebotaryov's wife was working as a doctor in the prison hospital and, although it sounds rather unlikely, it is reported that Egorov died at Chebotaryov's home.

References (6 books/articles)

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JOC/EFR December 1996