# A Soviet Genius Scientist: Who is Leonid Kantorovich?

During the siege, the people of Leningrad were left with only one way to breathe. This road going over the frozen lake was called 'Road of Life'. But what is the carrying capacity of this frozen lake? Kantorovic found the answer by making various calculations with the mathematical model he developed.

* Leonid Kantorovich* made significant contributions to the fields of economics and mathematics in the Soviet Union in the mid-20th century. His best-known work is his theory of optimal transportation on transportation and distribution problems. Let's get to know him a little more closely.

Kantorovich's work has also had a major impact on fields such as econometrics, mathematical economics, and operations research. He also made significant contributions to the development of the Soviet mathematical community and promoted the application of mathematical methods in economic planning.

As is known, Nobel Prizes have been awarded for service to humanity with the will of Alfred Nobel since 1901.

### Leonid Vitalyevich Kantorovich (19 January 1912 – 7 April 1986) was a Soviet mathematician and economist, known for his theory and development of techniques for the optimal allocation of resources. He is regarded as the founder of linear programming. He was the winner of the Stalin Prize in 1949 and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1975.

It is given to reward those who do it. However, the Nobel Prize in Economics is not included in Alfred Nobel's original will.

In 1968, the 300th anniversary of the bank, the Swedish central bank decided to award an economics prize in memory of Alfred Nobel's will in 1895. Currently, all other award processes, including the economics award, are carried out as a whole under the umbrella of the Nobel Foundation.

The Nobel Prize in economics, given in 1975, was shared by Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich and Tjalling C Koopmans. In this article, let us introduce you to Leonid Kantorovic, whose name is not well known.

* Leonid Kantorovich (1912-1986)* was born in St Petersburg, Russia. He entered Leningrad University in 1926, with interests in political economy and modern history as well as mathematics. He became a professor at Leningrad University in 1934 and held this position until 1960. Between 1961 and 1971, Kantorovich headed the department of mathematics and economics at the Siberian branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He later served as head of a research laboratory in Moscow.

He took an active part in the Defense of Leningrad in 1941 and 1942. During the siege, the people of Leningrad were left with only one way to breathe. This road going over the frozen lake was called the 'Road of Life'. But what is the carrying capacity of this frozen lake? For example, can heavy vehicles use this road?

Kantorovic made various calculations with the mathematical model he developed. As a result, he enabled the 'Road of Life' to deliver aid to the people of Leningrad under siege. The transportation and transportation models he developed during this period are still taught in the field of transportation engineering today. For his work, he would be awarded the Patriotic War Order and the Defense of Leningrad Medal.

### Kantorovic as a Production Engineer and Economist

At the end of the war, this time we see Kantorovic in the position of production engineer. This time, he will adapt the mathematical models in his mind to production in the factory. Thus, he created a model that would increase efficiency and received many awards for it.

Kantorovich also made other contributions to the Soviet economy. Until his time, economics in the Soviet Union was mostly seen as a social science. Kantorovic, on the other hand, treated economic problems as an optimization problem, thus a mathematical puzzle. Thus, economics in the Soviet Union developed in close relationship with mathematics. The fact that some of his suggestions were not taken into consideration by the Soviet administration was an important shortcoming.

Leonid Kantorovich did his most important scientific work in the field of normative economic theory, that is, the theory of optimal allocation of resources. In 1975, Tjalling received the Nobel Prize in Economics together with C Koopmans. Like fellow Laureate Koopmans, Kantorovich explored how available productive resources could be used to the greatest advantage in the production of goods and services.

### Pioneer of Linear Programming

Linear programming is a mathematical modeling method designed to make the best use of limited resources. This model has applications in the fields of military, agriculture, industry, economy, transportation, health systems, and even behavioral sciences and social sciences. The linear programming method was invented and developed by George Dantzig in 1947, based on his work in the US Air Force.

However, before that, in 1939, Leonid Vitalyevich Kantorovich, who was involved in the reorganization of the lumber industry in the USA, developed a limited class of linear programming and methods for their solutions as part of his duty. For this reason, he is considered one of the founders of linear programming today.