Aleksandr Khinchin

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Aleksandr Khinchin
Born (1894-07-19)July 19, 1894
Kondrovo, Russian Empire (present-day Kaluga Oblast, Russia)
Died November 18, 1959(1959-11-18) (aged 65)
Moscow, Russian SFSR (present-day Russia)
Nationality Russian, Soviet
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Moscow State University
Alma mater Moscow State University
Doctoral advisor Nikolai Luzin
Doctoral students Alexander Buchstab
Alexander Gelfond
Dmitry Raikov

Aleksandr Yakovlevich Khinchin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Я́ковлевич Хи́нчин, French: Alexandre Khintchine; July 19, 1894 – November 18, 1959) was a Soviet mathematician and one of the most significant people in the Soviet school of probability theory.

Life and career

He was born in the village of Kondrovo, Kaluga Governorate, Russian Empire. While studying at Moscow State University, he became one of the first followers of the famous Luzin school. Khinchin graduated from the university in 1916 and six years later he became a full professor there, retaining that position until his death.

Khinchin's early works focused on real analysis. Later he applied methods from the metric theory of functions to problems in probability theory and number theory. He became one of the founders of modern probability theory, discovering the law of the iterated logarithm in 1924, achieving important results in the field of limit theorems, giving a definition of a stationary process and laying a foundation for the theory of such processes.

Khinchin made significant contributions to the metric theory of Diophantine approximations and established an important result for simple real continued fractions, discovering a property of such numbers that leads to what is now known as Khinchin's constant. He also published several important works on statistical physics, where he used the methods of probability theory, and on information theory, queuing theory and mathematical analysis.

In 1939 Khinchin was elected as a Correspondent Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He was awarded the Stalin Prize (1941), the Order of Lenin, three other orders, and medals.

See also


  • Sur la Loi des Grandes Nombres, in Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences, Paris, 1929
  • Asymptotische Gesetze der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung, Berlin: Julius Springer, 1933[1]
  • Continued Fractions, Mineola, N.Y. : Dover Publications, 1997, ISBN 0-486-69630-8 (first published in Moscow, 1935)
  • Three Pearls of Number Theory, Mineola, NY : Dover Publications, 1998, ISBN 0-486-40026-3 (first published in Moscow and Leningrad, 1947)[2]
  • Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Statistics, Mineola, N.Y. : Dover Publications, 1998, ISBN 0-486-40025-5 (first published in Moscow and Leningrad, 1951; trans. in 1960 by Irwin Shapiro)[3]


  1. Rietz, H. L. (1934). "Review: Asymptotische Gesetze der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung by A. Khintchine" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. 40 (7): 518–519. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1934-05880-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Brauer, Alfred (1955). "Review: Three Pearls of Number Theory by A. Y. Khinchin" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 61 (4): 351–353. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1955-09940-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Mackey, George W. (1962). "Review: Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Statistics by Y. A. Khinchin, trans. by Irwin Shapiro" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 68 (3): 169–172. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1962-10731-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links