Vladimir Smirnov (mathematician)

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Vladimir Ivanovich Smirnov
Born (1887-06-10)10 June 1887
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died 11 February 1974(1974-02-11) (aged 86)
Leningrad, USSR
Nationality Russian
Fields Mathematics
Institutions St. Petersburg State University
Alma mater St. Petersburg State University
Doctoral advisor Vladimir Steklov
Doctoral students Victor Havin
Leonid Kantorovich
Solomon Mikhlin
Artashes Shahinyan
Sergei Sobolev

Vladimir Ivanovich Smirnov (Russian: Влади́мир Ива́нович Смирно́в) (10 June 1887 – 11 February 1974) was a Russian mathematician who made significant contributions in both pure and applied mathematics, and also in the history of mathematics.

Smirnov worked on diverse areas of mathematics, such as complex functions and conjugate functions in Euclidean spaces. In the applied field his work includes the propagation of waves in elastic media with plane boundaries (with Sergei Sobolev) and the oscillations of elastic spheres. His pioneering approach to solving the initial-boundary value problem to the wave equation[1] formed the basis of the spacetime triangle diagram (STTD) technique[2] for wave motion developed by his follower Victor Borisov (also known as the Smirnov method of incomplete separation of variables[3][4][5]).

Smirnov was a Ph.D. student of Vladimir Steklov. Among his notable students were Sergei Sobolev, Solomon Mikhlin and Nobel prize winner Leonid Kantorovich.

Smirnov is also widely known among students for his five volume book A Course in Higher Mathematics (the first volume was written jointly with Jacob Tamarkin).


  1. V.I. Smirnov, The solution to a problem with limits for the equation of waves in the case of the circle and the sphere. Dokl. Akad. Nauk SSSR [Comptes Rendus de l’Academie des Sciences de l'URSS], 14(1), 13–16 (1937).
  2. Hugo E. Hernández-Figueroa, Erasmo Recami, and Michel Zamboni-Rached (eds.) Non-diffracting Waves. Wiley-VCH: Berlin, ISBN 978-3-527-41195-5, pp. 287-306 (2013).
  3. V.V. Borisov, Nonsteady-State Electromagnetic Waves. Leningrad: Leningrad State University Press (1987).
  4. V.V. Borisov, Electromagnetic Fileds of Transient Currents. Leningrad State University Press (1996).
  5. V.V. Borisov and A.B. Utkin, The transient electromagnetic field produced by a moving pulse of line current. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 28(4), 614-622 (1995), doi:10.1088/0022-3727/28/4/003

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