Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin
Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin  

Vladimir Rokhlin in Leningrad, 1966.
 
Born 
Baku, Azerbaijan 
August 23, 1919
Died 
December 3, 1984 Leningrad, Soviet Union 
(aged 65)
Citizenship  Citizen of the Soviet Union 
Education  Moscow State University (19351941) 
Known for 

Children  Vladimir Rokhlin, Jr. 
Scientific career  
Fields  Mathematics 
Institutions  Leningrad State University 
Academic advisors  Abraham Plessner 
Notable students 
Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin (Russian: Влади́мир Абра́мович Ро́хлин) (23 August 1919 – 3 December 1984) was a Soviet mathematician, who made numerous contributions in algebraic topology, geometry, measure theory, probability theory, ergodic theory and entropy theory.^{[1]}
Contents
Life
Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, to a wealthy Russian Jewish family.^{[2]} His mother, Henrietta Emmanuilovna Levenson, had studied medicine in France (she died in Baku in 1923, believed to have been killed during civil unrest provoked by an epidemic). His maternal grandmother, Clara Levenson, had been one of the first female doctors in Russia. His maternal grandfather Emmanuil Levenson was a wealthy businessman (he was also the illegitimate father of Korney Chukovsky, who was thus Henrietta's halfbrother). Vladimir Rokhlin's father Abram Veniaminovich Rokhlin was a wellknown social democrat (he was imprisoned during Stalin's Great Purge, and executed in 1941).^{[3]}
Vladimir Rokhlin entered Moscow State University in 1935. His advisor was Abraham Plessner. He volunteered for the army in 1941, leading to four years as a prisoner of a German war camp, and then two years in a Soviet checking camp after the end of the war on suspicion of being a German or/and Western spy. Due to intercession by Andrey Kolmogorov and Lev Pontryagin, he was released and then returned to mathematics.
Since 1959 he was at Leningrad State University, where he was a teacher.
He died in 1984 in Leningrad. His students include Yakov Eliashberg, Mikhail Gromov, Nikolai V. Ivanov, Anatoly Vershik and Oleg Viro.^{[4]}
Work
Rokhlin's contributions to topology include Rokhlin's theorem, a result of 1952 on the signature of 4manifolds, which was subsequently generalised by Friedrich Hirzebruch. He also worked in the theory of characteristic classes, homotopy theory and cobordism theory.
In measure theory, Rokhlin introduced what are now called Rokhlin partitions. He introduced the notion of standard probability space, and characterised such spaces up to isomorphism mod 0. He also proved the famous Rokhlin lemma.
Family
His son Vladimir Rokhlin, Jr. is a wellknown mathematician and computer scientist at Yale University.
Rokhlin's uncle was Korney Chukovsky, a wellknown Russian poet, most famous for his popular children's books.
Notes
 ^ see Vershik (1989), Arnol'd (1986)
 ^ see Turaev & Vershik (2001), p.8
 ^ see Turaev & Vershik (2001), p. 1
 ^ Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
References
 Arnol'd, V.; et al. (1986), "Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin (obituary)", Russ. Math. Surv., 41: 189–195, doi:10.1070/RM1986v041n03ABEH003331, MR 0854242
 V. G. Turaev, A. M. Vershik, eds. (2001), Topology, ergodic theory, real algebraic geometry: Rokhlin's Memorial, Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society, doi:10.1090/trans2/202, MR 1819175
 Vershik, A.M. (1989), "Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin—A biographical tribute (23.8.1919–3.12.1984)", Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems, Cambridge University Press, 9 (4): 629–641, doi:10.1017/S0143385700005265, MR 1036901, retrieved December 23, 2010
External links
 Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
 (in Russian) Rokhlin – an article by Sergei Novikov
 On teaching mathematics to nonmathematicians, a 1981 lecture by V.A. Rokhlin
 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Vladimir Abramovich Rokhlin", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.