Vladimir Levenshtein

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Vladimir Levenshtein
Born Vladimir Iosifovich Levenshtein
(1935-05-20) 20 May 1935 (age 82)
Residence Moscow, Russia
Nationality Russian Jewish
Citizenship Russia
Alma mater Moscow State University
Known for Levenshtein distance
Levenshtein automaton
Levenshtein coding
Awards IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (2006)
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics

Vladimir Iosifovich Levenshtein (Russian: Влади́мир Ио́сифович Левенште́йн; IPA: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr ɪˈosʲɪfəvʲɪtɕ lʲɪvʲɪnˈʂtʲejn]; born 1935) is a Russian scientist who has done research in information theory, error-correcting codes, and combinatorial design. Among other contributions, he is known for the Levenshtein distance and a Levenshtein algorithm, which he developed in 1965.

He graduated from the Department of Mathematics and Mechanics of Moscow State University in 1958 and has worked at the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics in Moscow ever since. He is a fellow of the IEEE Information Theory Society.

He received the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal in 2006, for “contributions to the theory of error-correcting codes and information theory, including the Levenshtein distance”.[1]

There is a controversy in regard to the publication date of the paper where the Levenshtein distance was introduced. The original, Russian, version was published in 1965,[2] but the translation appeared in 1966.[3][4]


  • Levenshtein, V. I. (1965), "Binary codes capable of correcting deletions, insertions, and reversals.", Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR, 163 (4): 845–848 
  • Delsarte, P.; Levenshtein, V. I. (1998), "Association schemes and coding theory", IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 44 (6): 2477–2504, doi:10.1109/18.720545 

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