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Academician Y.V. Zolotov. The end of 1970s.
Photo by L.L. Makogina

Yevgeny V. Zolotov was born in 1922 in Tula. In 1939 he entered the mechanical-mathematical faculty of Moscow State University, but the war interrupted his studies. In June 1941 as part of Fighter Battalion formed of students of Moscow State University, he participated in the battles of Moscow and Yelnya. Later he was drafted into the Military Artillery Academy named after Dzerzhinsky.

On graduation, Captain Zolotov served in the Research Institute of the Academy of firing anti-aircraft artillery gun troops (later SRI-2 of air defense forces of the USSR, now the 2nd Central Scientific Research Institute of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense), which was transferred from Moscow to Evpatoria. There, in Yalta, sunbathing under the southern sun, future candidates and doctors of sciences draw on the sand the characters of their first insights.

Major-General of the Artillery Nikolai Nikitovich Fedotenko in his interview to the 'Veche Tveri' newspaper correspondent Mark Mayastrovskiy (1992) said, 'We were young lieutenants and, as expected for young, had fun and lived recklessly. But even at that time Zolotov stood out. In our secret office ... he was always the first - the first Ph.D. in 1962, the first in the Institute presented his doctoral thesis, and later became the only academician among us. Notable for a bold, independent mind. Able to say to the Marshal himself, 'This subject is unpromising' and reject it.

They say that possessing a truly computer like analytical mind, and great scientific scholarship and rare intuition, Zolotov could distinguish a worthy idea from futile at a glance. His works made a significant contribution to the establishment and improvement of anti-aircraft defense forces of the country.

Demobilized in 1968 with the rank of a colonel, Y.V. Zolotov continued his scientific career at Kalinin Polytechnic Institute focusing on the problems of systems study for industry, health and education. Y.V. Zolotov created a famous scientific school of systemic research.

In due time, Yevgeny Vasilyevich, thanks to his heroic physique, bore the nickname of 'megaton'. That is what Irina Grekova (E.S. Wentzel) writes about it in the story 'Behind the checkpoint': 'Megaton' is phenomenal, a big fellow of enormous height with hefty shoulders, he all sticks out of his clothes with a kind of knobs. When he sits at his desk, the countertop resting on his knees, it seems that it is not a desk at all, but an enclosure at the zoo for a buffalo or something. And he is strong in science like a bull' (I.Grekova. Stories. Moscow. Soviet Writer, 1990).

In Polytechnic Institute dealing with the problems of systemic research, Zolotov reviewed many scientific works. And he used to read through a few formulas and leaf through a manuscript, and immediately cast it aside, 'There is nothing new. Rubbish.' And the subject was closed. He would turn up at the scientific council, fasten his eyes on a stuttering with excitement youth and pull him by his sleeve, 'Tomorrow come to me to my department.' If the Rector or the party committee showing their power 'closed' the needful topic, Zolotov made for the Ministry, the Central Committee, stopped at nothing and bore away.

One of his students Herman I. Lukyanov recalled:

Being the final authority in scientific world, he was not at all an arrogant person. No resemblance to a coryphaeus or grandee. Young scientists and intelligent students he would treat fatherlike. But he could not stand mediocrity in science. He prepared more than 20 professors, however, seeing that a man was not up to scientific work, Zolotov would say in an inoffensive way, "Listen, you're a good lecturer, go on with it. Settled?"

" Home photos of Zolotov were very few", said his wife Barbara D. Gogol, "And his deeds, and thoughts, and passions, were all outside the home. When young, I tried to fight against it, but then gave up: no one could change him. He was not suited for domestic life. And he communicated with the children like this: he would take little Olga under his arm, a box of chess in the other hand, and go to look for a partner. Would sit her beside to watch. If a company gathered, he could joke and laugh, toast, and then quietly disappear: a thought came. Vulgarity and banal gossip he could not stand. Once a close relative came up, and then complained, "I told him this and that, and a fresh anecdote, but he only said "yes'" three times and "no" twice in the whole hour."

Yevgeny had a hunting permit. Friends forced him to buy a gun so that he could relax somehow. Barbara D. said, 'Once he felt an urge to go hunting. They received a permit to hunt a wild boar and went away. There he had an insight and, having forgotten about the hunt, began drawing some characters on a birch tree. A boar rushed by and trampled his gun into the snow. After that, the hunters, in spite of his scholarship, suggested that he should only be an honorary member of the hunting society.'

In his spare time Zolotov was building a motorboat though he was not going to take up water tourism. He was just carried away by the problems requiring mathematical justification: the use of new material (fiberglass), the calculation of underwater wings, finding the principles of movement in the aquatic environment under the influence of electromagnetic fields. Barbara D. recalled, 'With this boat he forgot about the rest. He slept for two or three hours a day so as not to steal the time allotted for the main job.'

As the head of the design office of SRI-2 of the USSR air defense forces Zolotov and Captain I Rank Alexander S. Popovich and a group of enthusiasts built an unusual boat, which on the Day of the Navy swept on the Volga River at the speed of an express train. 'Behind the miracle boat', wrote 'Kalininskaya pravda', 'from high waves and splashes of water emerged a flying Aphrodite, masterfully managing water skis .' The 'Aphrodite' was Olga, Zolotov's favorite daughter.

'Mathematics is the key to all other sciences', said Zolotov to his students. And carried away by various activities, he argued this repeatedly. He closely followed the creation of electronic computers and the construction of adequate mathematical models, considering it very important on the way of mathematization of science.

Yevgeny had a phenomenal memory. He effortlessly fitted a variety of information into the logical system. Then, when appropriate, he could talk colorfully about Moscow cathedrals, Confucianism, or ceramics, surprising the experts. One day after visiting the house of Academician V.S. Pugachev, a specialist in the theory of control processes, he became interested in Siamese cats (the wife of the respected academician had a lot of cats). And the next time he read a whole lecture on the instincts and habits of this interesting breed.

'Yevgeny Vasilyevich!', exclaimed the shocked academician, 'You are a well-known God in automated systems. But what do the Siamese cats have to do with it?'

In 1970 Zolotov was invited to work in the Far Eastern Scientific Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences to create and develop scientific institutes of physical, mathematical and technical profile in the region. In the same year he was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences. From 1970 to 1972 he headed the Department of Applied Mathematics of Khabarovsk Complex Research Institute of FESC of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1972 to 1980 Y.Zolotov was the Vice-Chairman of the Presidium of the FESC of the USSR AS.

In November 1976 the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences discussing the work of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) mentioned 'an interesting experience targeted at training specialists, particularly for the Institute of Cybernetics, USSR Academy of Sciences and the Far Eastern Scientific Center of the USSR.' It all began in 1967 when the initiative of Academician Glushkov resulted in the organization of the Department of Theoretical Cybernetics, basic and optimal control methods at the Institute of Cybernetics, USSR Academy of Sciences. This idea aroused great interest among the administration of the newly created Far Eastern Scientific Center, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, whose institutions suffered a strong shortage of young scientists. In 1972, at the request of the Presidium of FESC, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology directed a field examination board to Vladivostok to organize the first target admission of the first year students. In 1976 MIPT first organized a specialization there, and then the basic chair at the Institute of Automation and Control of FESC of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

At that difficult initial period of organizing the work of the MIPT examination boards and the establishment of the educational process great help was provided by Academician A.A. Voronov, Corresponding Member Y.V. Zolotov and Professor L.Perchuk. It was important that the admission to the first course was conducted in the region in which graduates of the institute were to work in the future.

In 1981 Y.V. Zolotov became the Director of the Computing Center of FESC, USSR AS, which he established in Khabarovsk, a member of the Presidium of the Far Eastern Scientific Center, USSR Academy of Sciences, the Chairman of the Board on Physical, Mathematical and Technical Sciences of the USSR FESC.

The basis of the Computing Center of FESC, the USSR Academy of Sciences were young graduates of Far Eastern and Siberian universities who, under the direction of talented scientists (I.P. Kuznetsov, O.I. Berezkin, A.I. Kondratiev, V.D. Stepanov, and others) invited by Y.V. Zolotov from Moscow, Kiev, Leningrad, Novosibirsk, successfully developed research in the most important theoretical fields, as well as applied research. Y.V. Zolotov invited Dr. Nikolai Kuznetsov, a recognized expert in the field of mathematical physics and number theory, for the position of his deputy. In his choice Yevgeny Vasilyevich relied, apparently, not only on N.V. Kuznetsov's professionalism as a mathematician, but also on the similarity of their scientific and organizational approaches. Currently, corresponding member of RAS N.V. Kuznetsov is the Director of Institute of Applied Mathematics of FEB RAS.

A new phase of implementation of computer equipment to support scientific research of CC FESC Academy of Sciences was also connected with the name of Zolotov. The Institute became a kind of talent foundry of highly skilled mathematicians, programmers, computer scientists and communication specialists for many scientific and industrial organizations of the Far East. At that time it was equipped with the most powerful and advanced domestic computers EC-1052 and EC-1066, paperless information processing technologies and means of remote access were implemented.

One of Zolotov's pupils, who entered science from the department of Automated Control Systems, which he founded at Tver Polytechnic Institute, vice-president of the Academy of Energy and Information Sciences V.I. Zlakazov in an interview to the 'Veche Tveri'(1992) said, 'This man was boundless! Not just a great scholar, a seer. In a number of research directions he was decades ahead of his compatriots. He should be put on a par with the leading mathematicians of the world. That's right! And his contribution to medicine, too, is unique.'

Mathematical modeling of the human body functioning is perhaps the most unexpected "release" of volcanic talent of Yevgeny V. Zolotov.

In late 1960-es already in charge of the Department of ACS, Zolotov, fascinated by reflexology, organized a laboratory for studying the electrical characteristics of the human body. On the basis of acupuncture he with his students developed a system of devices that can be used to stimulate human performance through the effect of electricity on his bioactive points. Nothing like that had ever existed in domestic science and practice. The official medicine accused the scientists of almost witchcraft. However, these devices were tested by our astronauts and found to be effective, and are now sold in the U.S. In Russia they are unfortunately not used.

Yevgeny Vasilyevich was a man of generous nature and great passions, experiencing different hobbies. Thus, believing in traditional Chinese Oriental medicine, he engaged in translation, studied all its history. Then he said, 'With the help of our instruments any nurse will be able to do what June does.

In Khabarovsk Y.V. Zolotov assembled a unique team of researchers in the field of oriental medicine - doctors, biophysicists, systems analysts, computer programmers. Since 1986, after organizing his laboratory of Medical Informatics (it was headed by Candidate of Medical Sciences, Professor of the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine V.A. Ionichevsky), researchers of the Computing Center have conducted studies of socio-cultural, medical, environmental, historical and geographical processes in the Far East. Original results were obtained in the study of the cultural phenomenon of ancient China - the method of chen chiu.

The name of academician Y.V. Zolotov is related with major achievements in the creation of the theory of efficiency, analysis and synthesis of complex special systems. He conducted research in the field of global modeling of processes occurring in the human population in the Far East. Thus, under the direction of Y.V. Zolotov the staff of Medical Informatics laboratory of the Computing Center FEB RAS developed the project of information-recognition system 'ECOS' to create ecological and economic methods of assessing the quality of life in the Russian Far East taking into account the interaction of various factors of the environment, industrial facilities, infrastructure, noosphere, etc. The theoretical basis for the development of 'ECOS' was served by the study of classes of game-theoretic information models in ecology and human biology and various statements of decision-making problems in health system management as a fragment of a complex conflict ecosystem with the account of economic factors. The practical significance of the project is as follows: the creation of tools (in the form of complex algorithms and programs) ensuring sustainability of the health care system, and making optimal decisions in managing it, the development of efficient algorithms for simulating decision-making processes in ecological and economic systems on a PC, PC software and data ware development.

Y.V. Zolotov worked in the field of information modeling in biomedical research. He applied game-theoretical approach to deal effectively with different tasks: recognition and classification in biology, prognosis, management and training in medicine, and psychology. His numerous theoretical works contributed to the development of many modern areas of computer science, applied mathematics, systems research and automated systems, including biological, medical, physiological, psychological cybernetics, neurocybernetics, bionics, etc. The research results have become classical and are widely accepted in Russia and abroad. Zolotov's numerous students and followers continue work started on his initiative in a surprisingly wide range of areas - from fundamental mathematical research to applied research in medicine, economics, ecology and technology.

Y.V. Zolotov did a lot for the establishment of the Far Eastern Mathematical School-seminar held in Nakhodka, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok. 'In the Far East the school should be linked with applied problems of computational mathematics, systems analysis and especially with those sciences that are needed here', said Academician L.D. Faddeev in 1982 at school-seminar in Nakhodka. School workshops played an important role in establishment of the Computing Center FEB RAS in Khabarovsk, the Institute of Applied Mathematics FEB RAS Vladivostok, in the creation of three basic chairs of IAM FEB RAS in the Far Eastern State University, and became a catalyst for the development of mathematical research in the Far East. Young scientists of the Far East received a unique opportunity to have informal talks with leading figures of science from Russia and other countries, helping to lead an active research activities in the field of mathematics, mechanics, computer science and mathematical modeling. Yevgeny V. Zolotov was the permanent chairman of the School-seminar Organizing Committee from 1975.

Y.V. Zolotov actively engaged in the development of planning and management, provided scientific advice in research on solving problems of system analysis, participated in the work on application of airships in the Far East transport. He created and developed an information-processing network to provide access to the global computer network with access to information and computing resources of other institutions of the FEB USSR AS, as well as Siberian Branch of the USSR AS and European part of the country, was the chief designer of the Regional Computing subnet (RCSN) 'Far East' of Akademset approved by the USSR State Committee on Science and Technology, USSR State Committee on Computer Science and Informatics and the Presidium of the USSR AS. In the early 1990s Akademset was created as a multi-purpose computer network. The pilot area Vladivostok- Khabarovsk- Novosibirsk was formed, the first working zone of RCSN was represented by four institutes of FEB USSR AS located in Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Blagoveshchensk and Magadan. Premature death of a big enthusiast of this project, the Deputy Director of the Computing Center of FEB USSR AS Victor V. Drobnitsa, Y.V. Zolotov's assistant, and cut-off funding did not allow to complete this project.

In 1987 Y.V. Zolotov was elected an academician of the Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples, and many medals.

... Yevgeny Vasilyevich often went to Moscow on business. During his last trip he called home in Tver, from the hotel, 'Varia, it's me, hello. Coming tomorrow. No, no need to meet me, better fry mushrooms with potatoes.' Two hours later he passed away. Medical examination testified a cardiac shock.

Broad-mindedness, individual, unique way of thinking, worldly wisdom combined with an uncompromising attitude when it came to the interests of mathematics in the Far East - these are just thin strokes to a portrait of a talented person.