The Ukrainian Academy of Sciences

Founded in 1918

The Ukrainian Academy of Sciences was founded in October 1918. Its foundation was closely linked with the political and military events surrounding the closing stages of World War I.

The Ukrainian Council, the Central Rada, declared Ukraine independent on 22 January 1918. However Soviet troops immediately occupied Kiev and the Central Rada had to leave the city. On 9 February Ukraine and the Central Powers signed a peace treaty but a German-Austrian advance removed the Soviet troops from Kiev in early March, and the Central Rada returned there. A coup by General Pavlo Skoropadsky, with German support, took place on 29 April and the Central Rada was removed. Skoropadsky was descended from an 18th-century Cossack hetman and, proud of the fact, he took the title "Hetman of Ukraine". Landowners and the middle classes supported Skoropadsky but Ukrainian nationalists, socialists, and workers opposed his government. The Ukrainian National Union was formed to oppose Skoropadsky. It was at this time that Skoropadsky founded the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, just weeks before he was removed from power. He had been kept in power by German-Austrian support and when they were defeated in November Skoropadsky's regime could not survive and he resigned on 14 December.

The General Assembly of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences met on 27 November 1918, just over two weeks before Skoropadsky resigned. The General Assembly elected V I Vernadsky, a geologist, as its first President. Within the first year of its existence the Academy had set up three research departments with three research institutes, one of which was physics and mathematics while the other two were history and philology, and social studies. Nikolai Krylov was appointed chairman of the physics and mathematics department in 1922.

Throughout this article we shall call the Academy the "Ukrainian Academy of Sciences" but it only had this name from 1918 until 1921 when it became the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. In 1936 it was renamed the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR which was its name until 1991. Russia and ten other former Soviet republics declared themselves independent on 21 December 1991 and founded the Commonwealth of Independent States. The USSR legally ceased to exist on 31 December 1991. From 1991 to 1993 the Academy reverted to its original name, the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, then in 1994 it adopted its current name which is the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

The Mechanics Institute in Kiev was founded in 1919:-
The institute's researchers work on problems of thermoelasticity, vibrations, static stability, modelling of polymer designs, and the plasticity of materials.
The Hydromechanics Institute in Kiev was founded in 1926, joining the Ukrainian Academy in 1934:-
The institute's scientists research hydroacoustics, the hydrodynamics of various objects, turbulence and statification of water, hydrodynamics and hydrotechniques.
The history of the Institute of Mathematics of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences is examined in detail in [1]. It also examines the lives and work of the many distinguished mathematicians whose scientific activity was closely linked to the Institute. The Institute was founded in Kiev in 1934 from several existing commissions and Grave served as its first Director from its foundation until his death in 1939. From 1939 to 1941 and then again from 1944 to 1949, Lavrentev was the Director of the Institute in Kiev. Gnedenko became Director of the Institute of Mathematics in 1949. Mytropolshy moved to the Institute of Mathematics in 1951 and was made Director in 1958 after Gnedenko left for Moscow. Mytropolshy was Director for 30 years until 1988 when Samoilenko was appointed Director of the Institute:-
During Yu Mytropolsky's directorship (1958-88), the institute experienced a great expansion in research personnel and mathematical disciplines, and an improvement in the quality of research.
Research priorities in the institute include: theory of differential equations, mathematics of physics, statistical theory, theory of functions, topology, algebra, the dynamics of special mechanical systems, computer programming and the institute develops various fields of mathematics for the natural sciences and technology.

Mathematics and applied mathematics institutes of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences wee also set up in Donetsk and Lvov. The Applied Mathematics and Mechanics Institute was set up in Donetsk in 1965 with I I Daniliuk as its first director:-
Research emphasis includes: nonlinear problems of mathematical physics having free boundaries, theory of the structure of differential equations, applied hydraulics, metal welding, rock stress, and automated planning and control systems for industrial enterprises.
The Applied Problems of Mechanics and Mathematics Institute in Lvov was founded in 1978:-
The institute studies functional analysis, fundamental and applied problems of algebra, solid state mechanics and mathematical physics, including the theory of differential and integral equations and matrix polynomials.

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References (show)

  1. O M Bogolyubov (ed.), The Institute of Mathematics. Outlines of its development (Ukrainian) (Kiev, 1997).

Last Updated August 2004