We know that someone will count many more things, inventions, achievements of Ukrainians, and we will be sincerely pleased with that. And we dream that our compatriots will “invent”, create and construct another 5 thousand different useful things.
And for now we will be glad that thanks to Ukrainians and people from Ukraine there are things without which we cannot imagine our lives now. Compare – from the latest to the oldest.
Solving the sphere packing problem in 8 dimensions
Experienced mathematicians from all over the world have “fought” over this crucial task, which helps to correct errors in mobile phones, the Internet and space research. On March 14, 2016, the world of mathematics received an extraordinary Pi Day surprise when a thirty-year-old woman from Kyiv, Doctor of Natural Sciences Maryna Viazovska posted to the arXiv a solution of the sphere packing problem in eight dimensions. Her proof shows that the 𝐸8 root lattice is the densest sphere packing in eight dimensions, via a beautiful and conceptually simple argument.
The solving took her two years, occupies 23 pages and is recognised by the scientific community as “stunningly simple” and awarded the prestigious Salem Prize. Maryna has now been invited to work at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne.
Jan Koum was born in a small Ukrainian provincial town in the late 70s. His family was the most ordinary and unremarkable: the father is the builder, the mother is the housewife. Childhood was not easy, because the family lived more than modestly. Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union and the difficult years of Perestroika. Jan’s father passed away after a long illness. The side job did not bring a stable income to the young man, the mother could not get a job because of her age. Then it was decided, having sold everything that was possible and having collected all the savings, to move to America. It took two years to prepare for the move, during which the boy studied English and took private lessons to “pull up” his knowledge. The family moved to a town called Mountain View.
He was an ordinary employee of a computer company, one of several thousand. But on February 24, 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California.
Unique shootings of the Oscar-winning Titanic
It was Anatoly Kokush, a native of Kerch, who suggested that director James Cameron to “attach” the cameras to moving objects and thus enhance the visual effects. The technology of the Ukrainian was used in all known films: from “Taxi” and “Troy” to “Harry Potter” and “Twelve friends of Ocean”.
However, it is not widely known in Ukraine. With the help of equipment invented and constructed personally by Kokush and in his studio, more than 300 films, many promotional videos, the best concerts, shows and sports competitions around the world were made.
Anatoliy Kokush was born in 1951 in Kerch. He graduated in engineering from the Leningrad Institute of Film Engineers. After graduating (since 1974) he worked as a designer at the Dovzhenko film studio, then in 1990 he founded his own company – the company “Filmotechnik”, which is a unique combination of design bureau and workshop.
For his work, Anatoly Kokush twice received the world’s highest award in cinema – “Oscar”.
Dance Academy at the Grand Opera in Paris
The most famous ballet school was founded by an outstanding dancer, choreographer Serge Lifar.
Born on April 2, 1905 in Kyiv. He sang in a church choir of the St. Sophia Cathedral and dreamed of becoming a pianist. He got into ballet school by accident. At 17, Serge Lifar immigrated to Paris where he lived all his life, but until the end of his days he considered himself a Ukrainian.
Serge Lifar is a great dancer of the past century. The premier danseur of the Ballets Russes and the favourite student of Serge Diaghilev. For more than 30 years Lifar worked in the Paris Grand Opera as the premier danseur of the ballet at the beginning, and as a choreographer and ballet master later.
As the founder of the Institute of Choreography in Paris and the University of Dance, he taught the history and theory of dance at Sorbonne and was also Honorary President of the International Dance Council, which maintained relations with UNESCO. The French mint founded a medal in his honour. He created more than 200 ballets and developed his own system of preparation of ballet dancers.
One day a young Kievan boy after reading Jules Verne’s novel “Robur the Conqueror” had a dream as if he was on the board of a ship. He imagined that he was entering the luxurious cabin, and from the windows he could see far below the sea island with green trees. The boy did not know that his dream would come true in thirty years – that he would be on the board of amphibious aircraft designed by himself. His name is Igor Sikorsky.
Young Sikorsky’s most successful design was for a large, four-engine plane that he named Ilya Muromets, after a legendary Russian folk hero. He completed it in 1913. Czar Nicolas II, who personally inspected the craft, presented Sikorsky with a diamond-studded gold watch for his efforts.
Sikorsky left Russia following the Bolshevik Revolution. He arrived in New York City in 1919 with $600 to his name and the Czar’s gold watch in his pocket. Here he began a second career as an aviation designer in 1923 and founded the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation on a Long Island chicken farm owned by a fellow Russian. Here Sikorsky produced twin-engine seaplanes.
After several succesful years and several experimental models, Sikorsky discovered that a single rotor mounted vertically on the tail of the aircraft worked best, and on January 14, 1942, Sikorsky himself piloted the first successful test flight of the helicopter in America.