Dmitrii Konstantinovich Faddeev was born on 17 (30) June 1907 in Yukhnov, in the district of Smolensk, in a family of a Petersburg engineer. From 1923, when he enrolled as a student of mathematics, until the end of his life all Faddeev's varied activity has been closely linked with the University of Leningrad, where for many years he held the chair of higher algebra and number theory, and where he has been Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics for several years. His links with the Academy of Sciences of the USSR were no less close. In 1932 he began research in the Steklov Institute of Mathematics and Physics and when in 1934 this institute moved from Leningrad to Moscow and became the Mathematical Institute, and the Leningrad Division of the Steklov Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (LOMI) was created, Faddeev was from the very moment of its foundation a collaborator in LOMI and he has remained so. In 1964 he was elected Corresponding Member of the Mathematical Section of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. For a long time he was in charge of the laboratories of at LOMI, and head of a powerful group of well-known algebraists and number theorists. His algebra seminar was widely known throughout the whole country.
The range of Faddeev's interests is unusually broad---among his more than 150 papers are some on the theory of functions, on computational methods, on probability theory, on problems of teaching mathematics at all levels. But, of course, Faddeev is known in the first place as one of the most outstanding algebraists of our time.
In his papers Faddeev touched on a wide range of algebraic problems. But there are two areas in which he began his research and to which he constantly returned. They are Diophantine equations and Galois theory. At the end of 50's Faddeev turned to problems in the theory of integral representations. Faddeev is one of the leading experts in numerical methods of linear algebra.
A distinctive feature of Faddeev's approach to the teaching of mathematics in schools is clearly expressed and logically developed chain of ideas in the courses he devised on algebra and basic analysis. Faddeev gives priority to "vivid contemplation", to awareness, to direct perception of the properties of mathematical objects, which thus reveal the content and basic ideas of mathematics as tools and as a description and the study of the regularity of the real world. His teaching over many years at the University, his general and specialized courses of lectures, always excellently presented, his numerous public speeches, are a splendid example to younger mathematicians.
Dmitrii Konstantinovich Faddeev was a man of the broadest culture and
intelligence. He had a wide knowledge of and appreciation of classical
music and was an outstanding pianist. Discussions with him of a variety
of questions were highly estimated by all his friends, colleagues, and
This text is an excerpt from the paper in Uspekhi Mat. Nauk 44:3 (1989) by A.D.Aleksandrov, M.I.Bashmakov, Z.I.Borevich, V.N.Kublanovskaya, M.S.Nikulin, A.I.Skopin, A.V.Yakovlev.
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