Olga Ladyzhenskaya – An Extraordinary women

August 3, 2020
Olga Ladyzhenskaya – An Extraordinary women

Over time, there have been many women who have changed the world, regardless of the field in which they have chosen to stand out. Among them is Olga Ladyzhenskaya, without whom many of today’s sciences would be poorer. The differential equations, but also the fluid dynamics are related to the name Olgai Ladyzhenskaya.


Reborn from her own ashes


Olgai’s father, in turn a good mathematician, was the one who instilled in her a love of mathematics. However, the man was not well-liked in the Soviet Union, being considered an “enemy of the people.” As a result, he was arrested and killed. Olga tried to follow her and her father’s dream, trying to continue her studies at one of the oldest educational institutions in Russia, the University of Leningrad. However, due to the situation with her father, Olga was forced to swallow her tears when her candidacy was denied.

But Olga Ladyzhenskaya was not an easy person to give up. She chose to teach at an orphanage and a high school, after which in 1943 she was admitted to Moscow State University in 1943 and later earned a doctorate from Leningrad State University.

Olga Ladyzhenskaya Biography


Politics and science do not make a good home

It seemed that from now on things would be better for Olga, but things were not like that at all. In fact, her whole life has been constantly struggling not to let political pressure interfere with her work. Thus, although he completed his doctoral dissertation in 1951, it could not be published until 1953, after Stalin died. But the pressure of the communist government was not over, and Olga Ladyzhenskaya still had a lot of work to do.


Concrete applications of her work

Despite all the hardships she had to face, Olga Ladyzhenskaya chose never to give up, and continued her work regardless of the obstacles that stood in her way. The practical applications of her work are still used today, and oceanography, cardiovascular science, aerodynamics and weather forecasting are based on her research in fluid dynamics.


A rebel, but also a lover of the arts

Under the oppressive regime in which she lived most of her life, Olga Ladyzhenskaya was considered a rebel. However, Olga has distinguished herself not only as a talented researcher, but also a great lover of the arts. He formed a beautiful friendship with the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, an open critic of the Soviet Union, but also with the poet Anna Akhmatova, whose activity denounced the Stalin regime.


In the end, the reward came

Olgai Ladyzhenskaya’s life was not an easy one, sprinkled with laurels of gratitude, even if she may well deserve it. The contributions of his research in the world of mathematics were remarkable, but unfortunately, recognized quite late. Thus, for her contributions to the world of mathematics, Olga received the gold medal from Lomonosov in 2002 from the Russian Academy of Sciences. In just two years, tired of a life of turmoil and constant struggle, Olga Ladyzhenskaya died on January 12, 2004, at the age of 81.