Sergey Ya. Vilenkin

Sergey Ya. Vilenkin


Saturday, April 28, 1923

Passed away: 

Wednesday, January 1, 1992

Sergey Vilenkin, in full Sergey Yakovlevich Vilenkin, was born in 1923 in the family of a lawyer. Vilenkins were famous in the USSR: at least, take two older brothers of Sergey, namely, Vitaly Ya. Vilenkin (the well-known Soviet literary critic) and Naum Ya. Vilenkin (no less prominent Soviet mathematician, remembered by many for his series of books for children about mathematics). As a researcher, Naum studied combinatorics.

In July 1941, eighteen-year-old Sergey joined the volunteer military corps. He went through the Great Patriotic II, from private scout (battalion’s bicycle reconnaissance) to artillery captain and battery commander. He was wounded at the Kursk Bulge. Vilenkin participated in the Soviet—Japanese War. He was awarded 11 orders and medals for combat service.

After the War, he continued to serve in the Soviet Army. In 1952, Vilenkin graduated from the Department of Ballistics and Shooting, Dzerzhinsky Military Artillery Academy. He worked at military ranges in Siberia and Kazakhstan. In 1959, Vilenkin defended his candidate’s dissertation in mathematical statistics, devoted to new methods to reduce the number of missile launches without losing the target accuracy. In 1963, he was demobilized with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel Engineer.

From 1963, Vilenkin worked at the Institute of Automation and Remote Control (IARC). He made a career from Senior Researcher, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), to the Head of Laboratory, Dr. Sci. (Eng.), Professor. In 1973, Vilenkin defended his doctoral dissertation entitled “Investigation of Parameter Estimates for Random Functions and Operators Based on Test Results” at IARC. The main result of his dissertation was the rigorous proof of the following fact: with non-optimal but dispersion-correct weight functions applied to estimate the characteristics of random processes and fields, the estimates of functionals based on discrete sequences are more efficient than those based on continuous realizations; conditions determining the advantages of discrete realization estimates were presented. Vilenkin developed an apparatus for continuous and discrete filtering of multidimensional nonstationary random processes generated by the systems of stochastic differential equations. He combined R&D work in the Institute with tutoring in the basic department of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, where he was Professor.

Vilenkin’s main research areas were connected with statistical analysis of stochastic processes and fields, the design and analysis of architectures of multi-processor high-performance computers, and the development of their system and application software. Vilenkin led the development of high-reliable computers for special operating conditions (nuclear power plants, aircraft, geological prospecting, etc.). These were analog-digital computing systems, developed in the 1970s jointly with Yugoslavian experts, and the high-performance computing system PS-2000 developed in the 1980s.

Note that 20 dissertations were defended under Vilenkin’s supervision. He authored over 130 papers and several monographs. Vilenkin’s main books are as follows:

  1. Parallel’nye vychislitel’nye sistemy s obshchim upravleniem (Parallel Computer Systems with Shared Control), Moscow: Energoatomizdat, 1983. — 312 p. (coauthors I.V. Prangishvili and I.L. Medvedev);
  2. Statisticheskaya obrabotka rezul’tatov issledovaniya sluchainykh funktsii (Statistical Processing of the Analysis Results of Random Functions), Moscow: Energiya, 1979. — 320 p.;
  3. Matematicheskoe obespechenie upravlyayushchikh vychislitel’nykh mashin (Mathematical Support of Control Computers), Moscow: Energiya, 1972. — 392 p. (coauthor E.A. Trakhtengerts);
  4. Statisticheskie metody issledovaniya sistem avtomaticheskogo regulirovaniya (Statistical Methods to Study Automatic Control Systems), Moscow: Sovetskoe Radio, 1967. — 200 p.

Many books are presented in the Institute’s database:Виленкин

Here are some journal papers by Vilenkin:

1. S. Ya. Vilenkin, K. S. Ginsberg, Interpretation and Some Heuristic Methods for Constructing Stein—James Type Estimates, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1991, 6,  56—66      ; Autom. Remote Control52:6 (1991), 790—798.
2. S. Ya. Vilenkin, A. N. Kalashyan, Round-off Errors in Richardson’s Extrapolation Method, Zh. Vychisl. Mat. Mat. Fiz., 27:1 (1987),  128—130      ; U.S.S.R. Comput. Math. Math. Phys.27:1 (1987), 84—86.
3. S. Ya. Vilenkin, V. N. Lifshits, A Formal Model of Data Structures and Abstract Algorithms for Multi-processor Computer Systems, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1984, 1,  146—154      ; Autom. Remote Control45:1 (1984), 126—133.
4. S. Ya. Vilenkin, A. B. Samokhin, An Iterative Method of Improving the Accuracy of the Solution of Linear Operator Equations, Zh. Vychisl. Mat. Mat. Fiz., 22:2 (1982),  462—464      ; U.S.S.R. Comput. Math. Math. Phys.22:2 (1982), 220—224.
5. S. Ya. Vilenkin, Yu. A. Nabatov, Biased Estimates of Autocorrelation and Cross-correlation Functions of Gaussian Stationary Random Processes and Sequences, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1981, 5,  60—66      ; Autom. Remote Control42:5 (1981), 604—608.
6. S. Ya. Vilenkin, A. S. Ermakov, An Iterative Method for Analysis of Open Loop Multi-Phase Service Systems with Blocking, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1981, 1,  20—26.   
7. S. Ya. Vilenkin, A. G. Fedotov, Two-phase Service Systems with One Input Flow of Requests, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1979, 11,  66—75      ; Autom. Remote Control40:11 (1980), 1609—1616.
8. S. Ya. Vilenkin, I. S. Charnaya, Using Probabilistic Properties of an Array to Reduce the Ordering Effort, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1978, 6,  153—162    ; Autom. Remote Control39:6 (1978), 906—913.
9. S. Ya. Vilenkin, T. G. Geidarov, Certain Statistical Problems in Random Processes with Stationary Increments, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1976, 7,  178—183      ; Autom. Remote Control37:7 (1976), 1126—1131.
10. S. Ya. Vilenkin, V. S. Elin, A. G. Fedotov, Solution of a Queueing Problem for a Two-phase System with Blocking, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1975, 8,  22—28      ; Autom. Remote Control36:8 (1975), 1229—1235.
11. S. Ya. Vilenkin, On the Estimation of the Mean in Stationary Processes, Teor. Veroyatnost. i Primenen.4:4 (1959),  451—453  ; Theory Probab. Appl.4:4 (1959), 415—416.

The list of his papers in Avtomatika i Telemekhanika can be found at:

For their English versions, see the microfilm collection of Automation and Remote Control:

Some inventions by Vilenkin are available at:

Scopus Author ID: 6701576135