Leonid Vitalevich Kantorovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kantorovich, Leonid Vital’evich


Born Jan 6 (19), 1912, in St. Petersburg. Soviet mathematician and economist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1964; corresponding member, 1958).

In 1930, Kantorovich graduated from Leningrad University, where he was an instructor from 1932 to 1934 and a professor from 1934 to 1960. From 1958 to 1971 he worked at the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; since 1971 he has been working at the Institute for the Management of the National Economy of the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. His first scientific results dealt with the theory of projective sets. In functional analysis he introduced and studied the class of semi-ordered spaces (AT-spaces). He applied functional analysis to computational mathematics for the first time. He also developed a general theory of approximation methods and constructed efficient methods for solving operator equations (including the method of steepest descent and Newton’s method for such equations). In 1939–40 he laid the foundations for linear programming—theories and methods of solution for maxima and minima problems with constraints. He established the importance of objectively determined estimates, which arise in the analysis of optimal economic models. These investigations have made it possible to create a theory of optimal planning and control of the national economy and to work out problems of socialist economics: price setting, the theory of rents, and the efficiency of capital investment.

Kantorovich is an honorary doctor of many foreign universities, and a member of the Budapest and Boston academies. A recipient of the State Prize of the USSR (1949) and the Lenin Prize (1965), he has been awarded the Order of Lenin, three other orders, and various medals.


Matematicheskie metody organizatsii iplanirovaniia proizvodstva. Leningrad, 1939.
Funktsional’nyi analiz v poluuporiadochennykh prostranstvakh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950. (Co-author.)
Ekonomicheskii raschet nailuchshego ispol’zovaniia resursov. Moscow, 1959.
FunktsionaVnyi analiz v normirovannykh prostranstvakh. Moscow, 1959. (With G. P. Akilov.)
Priblizhennye metody vysshego analiza, 5th ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962. (With V. I. Krylov.)


“Leonid VitaPevich Kantorovich.” Uspekhi matematicheskikh nauk, 1962, vol. 17, issue 4; 1972, issue 3.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.