Google Doodle celebrates mathematician Olga Ladyzhenskaya

The prolific Russian thinker would've been 97 on Thursday.

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Olga Ladyzhenskaya is associated with the Navier-Stokes equations and partial differential equations.

Google Doodle

Thursday's Google Doodle looks at Olga Ladyzhenskaya, a mathematician who endured a tragic loss to become one of the great thinkers of her time.

Ladyzhenskaya was born March 7, 1922, in Kologriv, a small town in western Russia, and spent her early years being inspired with a love of mathematics by her father, Aleksandr, who taught the subject.

She lost him as a teenager in 1937, when he was arrested by Soviet authorities, declared an enemy of the state and killed. Her family name stopped her from getting into Leningrad State University (now Saint Petersburg State University) two years later, but she ultimately got into Moscow University in 1943.

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After earning her Ph.D., Ladyzhenskaya went on to lead the Laboratory of Mathematical Physics at the Steklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow and to write more than 250 papers.

She's best known for her work on fluid dynamics of the Navier–Stokes equations -- which describe the motion of viscous substances -- and partial differential equations.

Ladyzhenskaya's contributions to the field earned her the Lomonosov Gold Medal from the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2002. She died on Jan. 12, 2004, at the age of 81.

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