Aleksey Nikolaevich Krylov. August 3 (15), 1863 – October 26, 1945. Russian and Soviet shipbuilder, engineer and mathematician, academician of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences / Russian Academy of Sciences / USSR Academy of Sciences.


Life and Work:

1. In March 1941, the USSR awarded the first Stalin Prize for outstanding achievements in science and technology, literature and art. The list of its first laureates included surgeon Burdenko, physicist Kapitsa, geologist Obruchev, aircraft engineers Ilyushin and Yakovlev, and many others. And among others, all worthy and remarkable, was shipbuilder Aleksey Krylov, an outstanding mathematician, notable engineer, multitalented scientist, witty memoirist and eloquent teacher.


2. Aleksey Nikolaevich Krylov was born on August 15 (New Style), 1863 at his father's estate in the village of Visyaga, Simbirsk Governorate – today the village is renamed after him and is now part of the Chuvash Republic.


3. Ivan Sechenov was a distant relative of the Krylov family. Aleksey Krylov recalled that when he was a child, Sechenov would come to their estate and make presentations for the family. Young Aleksey would be allowed to watch if he caught some frogs.


4. The scientist's grandfather, Aleksandr Alekseyevich Krylov, was wounded on the Borodino field and at the battle of Paris, and was awarded with gold weapons and orders. His father, Nikolay Aleksandrovich, fought in the Crimean War as an artillery officer. Aleksey, too, was intended to have a military career. And so it happened: the noble youth entered the Naval School and graduated with honors.


5. His naval and scientific careers developed in parallel. By the time of the Revolution, Krylov was a General of the Fleet.


6. The future academician and classical scholar conducted his first real scientific study in the compass workshop of the Hydrographic Department where he studied the deviation of magnetic compasses. Krylov would dedicate his whole life to developing the compass theory, and half a century after his first work he would be awarded the first Stalin Prize.


7. After engaging in science, Krylov felt the need to continue his education and completed a course at the Naval Engineering Department at the Nikolaev Naval Academy. But he did not part ways with his alma mater, where he started to teach practical classes in mathematics and later, theory of shipbuilding.


8. Aleksey Krylov kept teaching right until his death, and his fame as an outstanding scientist is complemented by his fame as a remarkable teacher.


9. Krylov was already a prominent scientist before the Revolution: in the 1890s, his theory of oscillating motions of the ship became internationally known.


10. Aleksey Krylov's legacy includes 300 books and papers concerning various branches of knowledge: shipbuilding, physics, mathematics, astronomy, geodesy, artillery. His floodability tables have become iconic and remain in use to this day.


11. When recommending Kylov for the title of a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences in 1914, veteran academicians noted that “In each of these diverse fields of knowledge, he demonstrates equal competence and originality, always offering a new and valuable contribution formulated in a simple, clear and rigorous way.”


12. Krylov's consultations of naval affairs saved the Tsar and his government more than the value of the most modern dreadnought, or so the scientist himself would say.


13. By the way, Krylov was directly involved in the creation of modern dreadnoughts. Aleksey Nikolaevich contributed to the design and construction of the first Russian Sevastopol-class dreadnought battleships.


14. In 1917, Aleksey Krylov was the Head of the Russian Society of Steam Navigation and Trade. After the October Revolution, he handed over all ships owned by the company to the Soviet government.


15. In 1921, Krylov was sent to London to restore the country's international relations in science. In 1927, he returned to the USSR.


16. Krylov's sons Aleksey and Nikolay fought in the White Army and were killed in the Civil War. His daughter Anna married Pyotr Kapitsa. This makes Aleksey Krylov the grandfather of Sergey Kapitsa.


17. Remember the phrasing of Newton's laws? These simple and clear words come from Krylov: it was he who translated Newton's laws into Russian. And he translated them from Latin, not English, because the Russian translation of Newton's Principia predates the English version.


18. Aleksey Krylov's command of the Russian language was so impressive that the President of the USSR Academy of Sciences Sergey Vavilov expressly focused on it in his eulogy.


19. Aleksey Krylov died in October 1945, shortly after returning from the evacuation. In Kazan, he wrote his famous book My Memories.


20. The Krylov Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences is named after him, awarded in recognition of “outstanding application of computer technology in problems of mechanics and mathematical physics.”


21. Three celestial objects are named after Aleksey Krylov: the Krylov crater on the Moon and two asteroids – (5247) Krylov and (5021) Krylania. Krylania is a portmanteau of the names Kylov and Anya. Anya is a reference to Krylov's daughter, mother of Sergey Kapitsa.