Kravchuk, Mykhailo

Kravchuk, Mykhailo [Kravčuk, Myxajlo], b 12 October 1892 in Chovnytsia, Lutsk county, Volhynia, d 9 March 1942 near Magadan, Far East. (Photo: Mykhailo Kravchuk.) Mathematician; full member of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences from 1929 and of the Shevchenko Scientific Society from 1925. A graduate of Kyiv University (1914), he taught mathematics in various higher schools in Kyiv before receiving his doctorate from Kyiv University in 1924 and joining the faculty there in 1925. In 1917 he compiled the first Ukrainian mathematics dictionary. He headed the VUAN Commission of Mathematical Statistics (1923–33), then directed the Section of Mathematical Statistics of the Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1934–8). Kravchuk is regarded as one of the most influential Ukrainian mathematicians. He published more than 80 papers that made original contributions in such diverse fields as advanced algebra, mathematical analysis, differential and integral equations, analytic functions and functions of real variables, probability theory, mathematical statistics, problems of moments, and approximation methods. Kravchuk also wrote or coauthored several monographs, including Algebraïchni studiï nad analitychnymy funktsiiamy (Algebraic Studies on Analytical Functions, 1929) and Zastosuvannia sposobu momentiv do rosv'iazuvannia liniinykh ta intehral’nykh problem (The Application of the Method of Moments to the Solving of Linear and Differential Equations, 1932), and the textbook Vyshcha matematyka (Advanced Mathematics, 1934, with P. Kasiianenko, Stephen Kulik, V. Mozhar, and Oleksander Smohorzhevsky). Kravchuk was arrested in 1938 and sent to a labor camp, where he presumably died. His name was ‘rehabilitated’ in the 1960s and he was the subject of two biographical novels by M. Soroka: Poet nimoho chysla (Poet of the Silent Number, 1967) and Mykhailo Kravchuk (1985).

Wolodymyr Petryshyn

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]

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