A graduate of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, Professor of Leningrad State University Leonid Kantorovich developed a theory that in 1975 brought him the Nobel Prize in Economics. The reason for creating the theory was the appeal to the scientist of the representatives of the central laboratory of the All-Union Plywood Trust, who wanted to increase productivity.
Professor Kantorovich managed to formulate a solution, which is described in his scientific work ‘Mathematical methods of organising and planning production’. Following the tradition of the St Petersburg mathematical school, he put forward the thesis of the interpenetration of mathematics and economics to synthesise humanitarian and exact technologies of knowledge. In the early 1950s, on the initiative of Professor Kantorovich, the specialty in computational mathematics in the USSR was opened at the Mathematics and Mechanics Faculty of Leningrad State University to train specialists in applying mathematics in economics.
Professor Kantorovich developed the idea of optimality in the economy. He laid the foundations for optimisation of economic and mathematical analysis of a wide range of economic issues: planning, pricing, measuring efficiency, and building a system of rent payments. The mathematical foundation of Professor Kantorovich’s economic research was a new scientific discipline that he created, i.e. linear programming. The ideas and methods of linear programming have become widespread and applied in solving a wide variety of problems in economics, physics, mechanics, geology, and energy to name just a few.