Monday, April 28, 2014

G.M. Adelson-Velsky passed away

Dear colleagues,

With a great sorrow I am informing you that Georgii Maksimovich (Gera, Giora) Adelson-Velsky passed away yesterday, at age 92.

Gera was a legendary founder of two famous Soviet Computer Science schools: in algorithms and data structures and in chess programming, which both arose before the term of Computer Science.

His AVL-trees (joint with E.M. Landis) were one of the very first, precedental examples of a dynamic data structure. His entire approach to effective algorithms was based on the amortized analysis of their running time, which was realized in the West many years later. His fascinating teaching educated the authors of such famous works as the Four Russian algorithm, the sorting algorithm using no working memory, network flow algorithms, graph isomorphism theory and algorithms, bio-informatic algorithms, and others. His approach was so far ahead the current view to algorithms in the West that some algorithms of him and of his Soviet followers were hardly understood in the West at the time of their publication.

Gera, together with A.L. Brudno, originated the game programming theory in the USSR, simultaneously with the West. The Soviet Kaissa chess program project (lead by him jointly with V.L. Arlazarov and M.V.Donskoy) produced the first world champion among chess programs.
His students (formal and informal) were A. Arlazarov, Y. Dinitz (E. Dinic), M. Donksoy, I. Faradjev, A. Karzanov, M. Kronrod, A. Leman, P. Pevzner, B. Weisfeller, and others. 

G.M. Adelson-Velsky will remain in the history of Computer Science as one of its fathers.


    Yefim Dinitz, a student of Gera since 1968
    Computer Science Dept.
    Ben-Gurion University in the Negev