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Yuri Vladimirovich Linnik

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Born: 21 Jan 1915 in Belaya Tserkov,
Ukraine

Died: 30 June 1972 in Leningrad, USSR

**Yuri Linnik**'s father was Vladimir Pavlovitch Linnik who was
himself a famous scientist making major contributions to optics. Like his
son, Vladimir was elected to the USSR Academy of Sciences.
After studying at secondary school Yuri Linnik worked as a laboratory
assistant for a year in 1931. Then he entered Leningrad University (St
Petersburg before 1914 and now St Petersburg again) to study mathematics
and theoretical physics. He graduated in 1938, obtaining a doctorate there
in 1940. In the same year he joined the Leningrad branch of the Steklov
Institute for Mathematics.

From 1944 Linnik was professor of mathematics at Leningrad University
in addition to his position in the Steklov Institute. He organised the
chair of probability theory there and founded the Leningrad school of probability
and mathematical statistics.

His main research topics were number theory, probability theory and
mathematical statistics. He introduced ergodic methods into number theory
in his first work. In a 1941 paper he introduced the large sieve method
in number theory. In 1950 he introduced the ideas of probability into number
theory and introduced the dispersion method in number theory.

Later Linnik made major contributions to probability with his work on
limit theorems and was the first to use powerful techniques from analysis
in mathematical statistics. He solved the Behrens-Fisher problem and many
other difficult problems of mathematical statistics.

Linnik wrote several important texts including *Characterisation Problems
in Mathematical Statistics.*

Linnik was President of the Moscow Mathematical Society for many years.
He was honoured by the national mathematical society of Sweden and was
awarded an honorary degree from Paris. He was elected to the USSR Academy
of Sciences in 1964.

List of References

Linnik's
Constant

Article by: *J.J. O'Connor and E.F. Robertson*

Source: MacTutor History of Mathematics archive