(April 25, 1903 – October 20, 1987)
Andrey Kolmogorov made outstanding contributions to many areas of mathematics, physics and computer science. At just 19 years old, he proved several results in Set Theory, and won acclaim by constructing a Fourier series which diverges almost everywhere. His quest for more knowledge took him to Germany where he met Richard Courant, Hermann Weyl and Edmund Landau. With them he respectively discussed Limit Theorems, Intuitionistic Logic and Function Theory. What he gained from this trip helped him publish a treatise (in German instead of his native Russian) titled: About the Analytical Methods of Probability Theory. This was followed-up by an impressive book, titled: Foundations of the Theory of Probability, which cemented his place as a world leader in this branch of mathematics. In addition to Probability, Kolmogorov contributed to Topology, Fluid Dynamics, Algorithmic Information Theory, and Computational Complexity. His researches on Turbulence and Stochastic Processes served the Soviets well during the Cold War. They also enabled him develop the Chapman-Kolmogorov Equations: independently of Sydney Chapman. And during a similar research in 1931, he independently discovered the concept in statistical mechanics known as the Fokker-Planck Equation: whose alternative name became Kolmogorov Forward Equation. His so-called Kolmogorov Complexity is very useful in stating and/or proving the impossibility results, which are related to: Cantor’s Diagonal Argument, Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem, and Turing’s Halting Problem. In the then Soviet Union, Andrey Kolmogorov helped to nurture many of the nation’s top scientists. Several concepts and theorems (in mathematics, physics and computing) are named in his honor.