Boris T. Polyak

Boris T. Polyak


Saturday, May 4, 1935

Passed away: 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Boris Polyak, in full Boris Teodorovich Polyak, was a world-renowned scientist in control theory and optimization. In 1958, he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys. In 1963, Polyak completed his postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics (Moscow State University). His candidate’s dissertation was entitled “Gradient Methods for Minimizing Functionals and Solving Equations and Inequalities.” In 1978, Polyak defended his doctoral dissertation “Optimization Methods under Disturbances.”

In recent years, Polyak was Professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and Chief Researcher of Laboratory No. 7 (Adaptive and Robust Systems) named after Ya.Z. Tsypkin, the Institute of Control Sciences (ICS), the Russian Academy of Sciences. From 1997 to 2013, Polyak headed this Laboratory.

Polyak authored 6 monographs, 220 journal articles, and over 200 Russian and international conference papers in the following areas:

  • mathematical programming;
  • convex analysis;
  • numerical methods;
  • stochastic approximation;
  • estimation and identification;
  • stochastic optimization;
  • optimal control;
  • robust stability;
  • robust control;
  • chaos control;
  • randomized methods;
  • linear matrix inequalities;
  • the suppression of bounded exogenous disturbances;
  • sparse control;
  • burst effects;
  • the connection between optimization and stability problems;
  • the optimization approach to control design.

His main research works were devoted to control theory and optimization.

For many years, Polyak was Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Automation and Remote Control and a member of editorial boards of 9 international and Russian journals, a member of dissertation and scientific councils, and Chairman of the Section of Automatic Control Theory at the Academic Council of ICS RAS. He was a member of the Program Committees of many international conferences and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of 10 Traditional Young Researcher Schools “Control, Information, and Optimization” (2010—2019);

Polyak was Member of TC 2.5. Robust Control, a Technical Committee of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC).

He was also Chairman of the Commission on Signals and Systems of the Russian National Committee on Automatic Control, a member of the Bureau of the Scientific Council on Controlled Processes and Automation (the Russian Academy of Sciences), and Head of the Section of Process Control, Stability, and Optimization of the Council.

Since 2000, Polyak managed and participated in 9 international and 20 Russian research projects and programs.

Awards and honors:

  • Meyerhoff Fellowship (1991);
  • the Andronov Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1994);
  • NATO Fellowship (1999);
  • prizes for the best article published in Nauka journals (2000, 2008);
  • the Letov Prize (1999, 2010), the Kulebakin Prize (2004), the Tsypkin Prize (2005), the Feldbaum Prize (2006), and the Andronov Prize (2014) (all from the Institute of Control Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences);
  • Honorary IFAC Fellow (2006);
  • the EURO Gold medal of the Association for European Operational Research Societies (2012);
  • the Petrov Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2016);
  • the Khachiyan Prize of the INFORMS Optimization Society (2021).

Polyak worked at the universities of the USA, France, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Taiwan, Finland, and other countries.

Among his students, 25 became candidates and doctors of sciences.

Polyak’s monographs are as follows:

  1. Vvedenie v optimizatsiyu (An Introduction to Optimization), Moscow: Nauka, 1983. — 384 p.; 2nd ed., Moscow: URSS, 2014. — 392 p.; 3rd ed., Moscow: URSS, 2023. — 404 p.;
  2. Matematicheskaya teoriya avtomaticheskogo upravleniya (Mathematical Theory of Automatic Control), Moscow: URSS, 2019. — 504 p. (coauthors M.V. Khlebnikov and L.B. Rapoport);
  3. Upravlenie lineinymi sistemami pri vneshnikh vozmushcheniyakh: tekhnika lineinykh matrichnykh neravenstv (Control of Linear Systems under Exogenous Disturbances: the Technique of Linear Matrix Inequalities), Moscow: URSS, 2014. — 560 p. (coauthors M.V. Khlebnikov and P.S. Shcherbakov);
  4. Randomizirovannye algoritmy otsenivaniya i optimizatsii pri pochti proizvolnykh pomekhakh (Randomized Algorithms of Estimation and Optimization under Almost Arbitrary Noises), Moscow: Nauka, 2003. — 292 p. (coauthor O.N. Granichin);
  5. Robastnaya ustoichivost i upravlenie (Robust Stability and Control), Moscow: Nauka, 2002. — 303 p. (coauthor P.S. Shcherbakov);
  6. Introduction to Optimization, New York: Optimization Software, 1987. — 438 p.

Some of them are presented in the Institute’s database:Поляк

The list of journal papers by Polyak is available at Math-Net.Ru:

Also, his publications can be found at:

Articles about B.T. Polyak

1. A. V. Gasnikov, Boris Polyak — Path in Science. OptimizationComputer Research and Modeling15:2 (2023), 235—243.
2. M. V. Khlebnikov, A. V. Nazin, P. S. Shcherbakov, Boris Teodorovich Polyak (1935—2023)Avtomat. i Telemekh., 2023, no. 4, 166—168; Autom. Remote Control84:4 (2023), 511—512.
3. V. M. Tikhomirov, In Memory of Boris Teodorovich PolyakAvtomat. i Telemekh., 2023, no. 5, 165—167; Autom. Remote Control84:5 (2023), 633—635.
4. M. K. Kerimov, On the 80th Anniversary of Birthday of Professor Boris Teodorovich PolyakZh. Vychisl. Mat. Mat. Fiz.56:3 (2016), 347—350.
5. The 70th Birthday of Boris Teodorovich PolyakAvtomat. i Telemekh., 2005, no. 5, 3—4; Autom. Remote Control66:5 (2005), 677—678.

Visit the Laboratory’s website:
and the memorial page as well:

In addition, see the Wikipedia page devoted to Polyak:Поляк,_Борис_Теодорович

Scopus Author ID: 7005072117