April 28, 2018 was the 150th Anniversary of Georgy Voronoï, Doctor of Mathematics, Professor of Warsaw University, Corresponding Member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
A future mathematician was born on April 28 (April 16 according to the Julian calendar used in Russia at that time), 1868 in a small town of Zhuravka, then of Poltava Province. His father Theodosiy was an alumni of the Kyiv Saint Vladimir University, Philology Professor of the Nizhyn Lyceum, later – Director of the Pryluky Gymnasium. His mother Cleopatra came from a well-known Kyiv family of Lychkovs and taught at the Kyiv Women Gymnasium in Podil and at the Podil Women Sunday School.
Even when Georgy was a student of the gymnasium (then it was a high school preparing for universities), he became interested in mathematics. And in 1885 he entered Saint Petersburg University where research in number theory was very prominent (these activities are known as Saint Petersburg number theory school). Voronoï also had chosen number theory as his field of research, and Professor Andrei Markov was his scientific mentor.
Soon after defense of his master thesis (in April 1894) on algebraic number theory, the young scientist got an appointment to the Warsaw University where he worked for almost all his life. Voronoï took his teaching duties with a great responsibility, despite considerable load: only three professors of mathematics worked at the Warsaw University at that time. One of his most famous and gifted students was Wacław Sierpiński.
Voronoï scientific papers belong to the fields of number theory and mathematical analysis. Almost every of his 12 principal papers gave a start to a new direction of research. Georgy Voronoï and Hermann Minkowski are regarded initiators of a new field – geometry of numbers. Mathematical objects named after him – Voronoi diagrams – are widely used in modern science and technology: in computer graphics, geometric modeling, robot construction, artificial intelligence, image recognition, geographical informational systems etc.
Intensive intellectual work and unfavorable life conditions undermined health of the scientist. Georgy Voronoï died on November 20 (November 7 according to the Julian calendar), 1908. He was buried in Zhuravka.
Researchers in Ukraine and all over the world remember the mathematical genius and continue his work. In 1952–1953 three volumes of his complete papers were published at the Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine with comments of prominent mathematicians. Starting from 1993, every five years International Conferences on Analytic Number Theory and Spatial Tessellations are held in Kyiv. The Sixth Conference will be held on September 24–28, 2018 at the Mykhailo Drahomanov National Pedagogical University. In 2008, the year of the 100th anniversary of the scientist’s death, this conference was held jointly with another prominent scientific conference — International Symposium on Voronoi Diagrams in Science and Engineering (in 2004–2013 such symposia were held annually in different countries of the world).
The 150th Anniversary of Georgy Voronoï is celebrated in Ukraine at the national level (in accordance to the Resolution of the Parliament of Ukraine “On Celebration of Memorial Dates and Anniversaries in 2018” of 08.02.2018 No. 2287-VIII).
The Special Meeting was held on April 23 at the Department of Physics and Mathematics of the Mykhailo Drahomanov National Pedagogical University. The meeting participants watched the film “Georgy Voronoï, Ukrainian and Polish Mathematician” (production by Chernihiv Regional State Television Company, 2013, director Tetyana Myrgorodska).
Speakers at the meeting were Yaroslav Yatskiv, Academician of the NAS of Ukraine, Daria Dobrycheva and Iryna Vavilova (researchers from the Main Astronomical Observatory of the NAS of Ukraine), Olexandr Rud’ (Georgy Kurdyumov Institute of Metal Physics of the NAS of Ukraine), Halyna Syta (Mykhailo Drahomanov National Pedagogical University), Olha Pshenychna (Ivan Frantsevich Institute for Problems of Materials Science of the NAS of Ukraine), Professor Massimo Capaccioli (Naples University Federico II). They said, in particular, how they use the results received by Voronoï in their own research, and on importance for the country’s image of worthy honoring of its world-class scholars, the true elite of the nation.
On April 25, Professor Mykola Pratsiovytyi presented a talk at the General Meeting of the Department of Mathematics of the NAS of Ukraine. Materials of this talk were the basis for the paper published in the Bulletin of the NAS of Ukraine (Mykola Pratsiovytyi and Halyna Syta, Geometrical Mosaics of the Great Ukrainian. Towards 150th Anniversary of Professor Georgy Voronoï. Bulletin of the NAS of Ukraine (2018), No. 4, 92–101 (in Ukrainian). URL: http://www.visnyk-nanu.org.ua/uk/node/3454).
On April 27, a group of scientists from Kyiv visited Zhuravka, the native village of Georgy Voronoï. Researchers and post-graduates of the Mykhailo Drahomanov National Pedagogical University, of the Institute of Mathematics and of the Main Astronomical Observatory of the NAS of Ukraine took part at the special events organized at the local school, visited the school local lore museum and the grave of Georgy and Theodosiy Voronoïs, and a homestead where an oak-tree planted by Georgy Voronoï still grows. Voronoï planted the tree on May 20, 1900 when his daughter Maria was born.
These events were organized by the Mykhailo Drahomanov National Pedagogical University, the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and by the Kyiv Mathematical Society.
On May 3 a Special Meeting was held in Lviv dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of the great Ukrainian mathematician Professor Georgy Voronoï. Professor Mykola Pratsiovytyi presented the talk “Life and Scientific Heritage of Georgy Voronoï”, Professor Taras Banakh spoke in more detail on the research of the mathematical genius. Professor Yaroslav Prytula spoke about a student of Voronoï – Wacław Sierpiński who worked in Lviv for some period, and about his famous contemporaries – mathematicians Józef Puzyna, Hugo Steinhaus, Dmitry Morduhai-Boltovskoi. The meeting was organized by the Lviv National Ivan Franko University, the Shevchenko Scientific Society and the Ukrainian Mathematical Society.
Text prepared by: Institute of Mathematics of the NAS of Ukraine
and Mykhailo Drahomanov National Pedagogical University
Published by: Press-office of NASU