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Naimark, Mark Aronovich

(1909–1978), Soviet mathematician. Born in Odessa into the family of an artist, Mark Naimark graduated from the Odessa Physics and Chemistry Institute in 1933 and became a graduate student at Odessa University. He began his scientific work under the guidance of Mark Krein. After completing graduate studies in 1936, Naimark was awarded the degree of candidate in physics and mathematical sciences. He worked at Odessa University from 1933 to 1938, and from 1938 to 1950 at the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Upon completing his doctoral work at the academy’s Steklov Mathematical Institute in 1941, Naimark received the degree of doctor of science; he held the rank of professor from 1942. He worked at various institutions of higher education in Moscow from 1950 to 1954, and from 1950 to 1962 was affiliated with the Moscow Physics and Technology Institute. Subsequently—after aspiring for years to be accepted and being thwarted by the antisemitic proclivities of its director, Ivan Vinogradov—Naimark was on the faculty of the Steklov Institute, where he worked in the fields of functional analysis and algebra.

Naimark’s main works were devoted to the theory of functions and functional analysis. He wrote well more than 100 publications, including the well-known monograph Normirovannye kol’tsa (Normed Rings; 1956); Lineinye diferentsial’nye operatory (Linear Differential Operators; 1954), the first work ever on this topic; Teoriia predstavlenii grupp (Theory of Group Representations; 1976); and a detailed handbook (with Izrail’ Gel’fand) on the classical theory of groups and their irreducible representations, Unitarnye predstavleniia klassicheskikh grupp (Unitary Representations of Classical Groups; 1950). Naimark’s outstanding contribution to science and his international reputation did not, however, promote him to the official Soviet “table of ranks.” He never became a full-fledged academician, nor was he counted among the country’s prominent mathematicians, and the Bol’shaia sovetskaia entsiklopediia (Great Soviet Encyclopedia) found no place for him.

Suggested Reading

Aleksei Ivanovich Borodin and Arkadii Sil’vestrovich Bugai, Vydaiushchiesia matematiki, 2nd ed. (Kiev, 1987), p. 373; Iosip Zakharovych Shtokalo, ed., Istoriia otechestvennoi matematiki, vol. 4, pt. 2, p. 598 (Kiev, 1970).



Translated from Russian by I. Michael Aronson