The Moscow Mathematical Society

The first Moscow Mathematical Society was founded in 1810 on the initiative of the extended family of N N Muraviev but it did not survive for long for it closed in the following year. The present Society, which was founded in 1864, is not considered as a continuation of this first Society.

During the early 1860s Brashman and Davidov worked for the founding of a mathematical society in Moscow, the Circle of Mathematics-Lovers. Their aims were, at first, quite limited. It was intended only for those with a Master's Degree (or higher degree) in a mathematical discipline or at least one important publication. In many ways the intention was to provide the members with mutual support in their research. At the first meeting of the Society on 15 September 1864 only one aim was stated for the Society:-
... the goal of the Society is mutual cooperation in the study of the mathematical sciences.
The Society was small with only 14 members. Brashman was its President and Davidov its Vice-President. Only one member, Chebyshev from St Petersburg, lived outside Moscow. Each member was given responsibility for an area of mathematics which they had to report on to fellow members, and the Society met monthly with members having to report on their own research at these meetings.

From the start the reports were of high quality and by April of 1865 a decision had been taken to publish them. A journal Mathematicheskii Sbornik was proposed for this purpose and Brashman was appointed as editor. He died on 13 May 1866 and the first issue of the journal which appeared in October 1866 was dedicated to his memory. On his death Davidov became President.

The Society had expanded its aims by this time. By January 1866 they stated:-
The goal of the organisation of the Society is to promote the development of mathematical sciences in Russia.
The Society grew so that by 1913 there were 112 members of whom 34 lived in Moscow, 51 were Russians living outside Moscow, and 21 were foreign members. However, World War I followed by the Russian Revolution and finally the Civil War, made the following seven years extraordinarily difficult. Mathematicheskii Sbornik stopped publication in 1919 and was not restarted until 1924.

Presidents of the Moscow Mathematical Society

1864 N D Brashman
1866 A Yu Davidov
1886 V Ya Zinger
1891 N V Bugaev
1903 P A Nekrasov
1905 N E Zhukovsky
1921 B K Mlodzeezskii
1923 D F Egorov

List of References (12 books/articles)

Other Web site    Society Web-site

JOC/EFR August 2004
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School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland
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