Sergey Mergelyan

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Sergey Mergelyan (Armenian: Սերգեյ Մերգելյան; born 19 May 1928 in Simferopol, Crimea, Soviet Union; died 20 August 2008 in Los Angeles, United States; buried at the Novodevichie Memorial Cemetery in Moscow, Russia) was an Armenian scientist, an outstanding mathematician, who is the author of major contributions in Approximation Theory. The modern Complex Approximation Theory is based on Mergelyan's classical work.


He graduated from Yerevan State University in 1947. When he was just 20, in Moscow Steklov Mathematical Institute he was awarded the USSR Doctor of Science degree in mathematics in addition to his Ph.D. Up today this is an absolute record of getting the highest scientific degree (Doctor of Science) at such young age in former USSR and present Russia. In 1952 he was awarded USSR State Prize. When he was just 24 he became corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (now Russian Academy of Sciences), which, from the point of view of young age, is yet another absolute record among USSR scientists. He has been a symbol of a young scientist in former USSR. Indira Gandhi, among other famous people in USSR and abroad, has been a friend of Mergelyan from early 1950s. In 1978, after her official visit to Moscow, Gandhi had also a private visit to Yerevan just as a guest of Mergelyan.

Mergelyan played a leading role in establishing Yerevan Scientific Research Institute of Mathematical Machines (YerSRIMM) -commonly known as Mergelyan Institute of Mathematical Machines- in 1956. He became the first director of the institute.[1]

His works include theory of functions of complex variables, theory of approximation, and theory of potential and harmonic functions. In 1951 he formulated and proved the famous result from complex analysis called Mergelyan's theorem. This theorem of Mergelyan solved an old classical problem. Several years later he solved another famous problem, the Sergei Natanovich Bernstein Approximation Problem. Mergelyan also has many important results in other areas of complex analysis including the theory of pointwise approximations by polynomials.


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