Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin
Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin
Vladimir Rokhlin in Leningrad, 1966.
|Died||December 3, 1984 (aged 65)|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the Soviet Union|
|Education||Moscow State University (1935-1941)|
|Children||Vladimir Rokhlin, Jr.|
|Institutions||Leningrad State University|
|Academic advisors||Abraham Plessner|
Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin (Azerbaijani: Vladimir Abrа́moviç Rо́xlin; Russian: Влади́мир Абра́мович Ро́хлин) (23 August 1919 – 3 December 1984) was an Azerbaijani and Soviet mathematician, who made numerous contributions in algebraic topology, geometry, measure theory, probability theory, ergodic theory and entropy theory.
Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, to a wealthy Azerbaijani Jews family. His mother, Henrietta Emmanuilovna Levenson, had studied medicine in France (she died in Baku in 1923, believed to have been killed during civil unrest provoked by an epidemic). His maternal grandmother, Clara Levenson, had been one of the first female doctors in Russia. His maternal grandfather Emmanuil Levenson was a wealthy businessman (he was also the illegitimate father of Korney Chukovsky, who was thus Henrietta's half-brother). Vladimir Rokhlin's father Abram Veniaminovich Rokhlin was a well-known social democrat (he was imprisoned during Stalin's Great Purge, and executed in 1941).
Vladimir Rokhlin entered Moscow State University in 1935. His advisor was Abraham Plessner. He volunteered for the army in 1941, leading to four years as a prisoner of a German war camp, and then two years in a Soviet checking camp after the end of the war on suspicion of being a German or/and Western spy. Due to intercession by Andrey Kolmogorov and Lev Pontryagin, he was released and then returned to mathematics.
Since 1959 he was at Leningrad State University, where he was a teacher.
Rokhlin's contributions to topology include Rokhlin's theorem, a result of 1952 on the signature of 4-manifolds, which was subsequently generalised by Friedrich Hirzebruch. He also worked in the theory of characteristic classes, homotopy theory and cobordism theory.
In measure theory, Rokhlin introduced what are now called Rokhlin partitions. He introduced the notion of standard probability space, and characterised such spaces up to isomorphism mod 0. He also proved the famous Rokhlin lemma.
- Arnol'd, V.; et al. (1986), "Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin (obituary)", Russ. Math. Surv., 41 (3): 189–195, doi:10.1070/RM1986v041n03ABEH003331, MR 0854242
- V. G. Turaev, A. M. Vershik, eds. (2001), Topology, ergodic theory, real algebraic geometry: Rokhlin's Memorial, American Mathematical Society Translations: Series 2, 202, Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society, doi:10.1090/trans2/202, hdl:11693/48903, ISBN 9780821827406, MR 1819175CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
- Vershik, A.M. (1989), "Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin—A biographical tribute (23.8.1919–3.12.1984)", Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems, Cambridge University Press, 9 (4): 629–641, doi:10.1017/S0143385700005265, MR 1036901
- Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- (in Russian) Rokhlin – an article by Sergei Novikov
- On teaching mathematics to non-mathematicians, a 1981 lecture by V.A. Rokhlin
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.