Glushkov, Victor M

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Glushkov, Victor M.

Glushkov, Victor M.

Soviet Mathematician and Computer Engineer

Victor M. Glushkov was a pioneer in cybernetics , computer engineering, and mathematics. He initially made his reputation as the first mathematician to solve the fifth generalized problem of Hilbert but is better known as the force behind the U.S.S.R.'s Institute of Cybernetics that was of primary importance to the application of computers in the Soviet Union. Glushkov is a holder of the Silver-Core award of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). He issued more than 800 papers including thirty monographs, many of which have been translated into other languages.

Glushkov was born on August 24, 1923, in Rostov on the river Don. He attended and graduated from Rostov University (1947 to 1948) and Novocherkassk Polytechnic Institute (1943 to 1948). He started his career as a teacher at the Ural Timber-Technology Institute (Sverdlovsk) while performing research under two leading Soviet algebraists, S. N. Chernikov and A. S. Kurosh. In 1955 he received his Ph.D. from Moscow State University with a dissertation titled "Topological Locally Nilpotent Group." In 1956 Victor went to Kiev to become the head of the Computer Engineering Laboratory of the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences that became the basis for the Computer Center of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 1957.

In 1961 the Computing Center became the Institute of Cybernetics of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and Glushkov became its director. His tenure lasted until his death. Under the leadership of Glushkov, the institute gained an international reputation for computer science research and the training of scientists (100 professors and 600 doctors of science under Glushkov). The year 1962 marked the release of Glushkov's classic book, Synthesis of Computing Automata, which he followed with Introduction to Cybernetics in 1964. Ten years later, Glushkov edited a compilation of all leading Soviet cybernetic scientists in the notable Encyclopedia of Cybernetics. When he died on January 30, 1982, after a long illness, he left behind a foundation that would eventually lead to the "informatization of Soviet society."

A scientist with a wide range of interests and talents, he was elected in 1961 as a member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, and in 1962 he became the vice president of the same organization. In 1964 Glushkov was honored with the Lenin Prize for a series of contributions on discrete automata theory and was elected a member of the Academy of Science of the U.S.S.R. In 1966 a team of designers headed by Glushkov was awarded the first state prize for the development of principles for the construction of small computers incorporating structural high-level languages for engineering calculations. In 1969, for achievements in the advancement of science and training of scientists, Glushkov was granted the title of "Hero of Socialist Labor," and the Institute of Cybernetics was awarded the Order of Lenin. In 1977 Glushkov and colleagues were awarded the U.S.S.R. State Prize for a series of contributions to the methods of computer-aided design of computers.

When computer science was a young discipline, Glushkov envisioned the use of a computer as more than just a calculator. He visualized the simulation of "brain-like" structures, evolutionary computing, automatic theorem proving, pattern recognition , and the first robotic systems. He developed technologies for the design and construction of computer components, including the joint design of computer hardware and software.

Glushkov was the first to formulate and document the concepts of computer design on the basis of automated algebraic models. He designed several special programming languages, such as ANALYTIC, for the translation of algebraic expressions on a computer. The personal computer MIR, a predecessor of present-day personal computers, was developed and mass produced under Glushkov. He is also associated with the publication of many books, journals, and scientific papers on cybernetics and computer science. The latter years of Glushkov's life were dominated by work on the Statewide Automated System or Data Collection and Processing (OGAS), which was designed to automate the management of the state economy.

see also Cybernetics.

William J. Yurcik


Lee, J. A. N., ed. International Biographical Dictionary of Computer Pioneers. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1995.

Zemanek, Heinz. "Eloge: Victor Mikhaylovich Glushkov." IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 4, no. 2 (1982): 100101.

Internet Resources

Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics. <>