It seems to me that I got acquainted with Naum Yakovlevich at the school-seminar on "the mathematical
programming and semi-questions" in the town of Drogobych either in 1969 or in 1970. The seminars took
place under the supervision of the well known man, the professor Simon Israilevich Zuhovitski every year
during student winter vacation(two weeks from the end of January to the beginning of February). That was
an event in mathematical circles, gathering sometimes more than 200 people from the whole Soviet Union.
Lectures were read there by great mathematicians, among them Glasman, Mityagin, Lyubich and others. It
seems to me that Naum Yakovlevich took part in them from the very beginning (either from 1968 or from
1969 year) to the very end of these seminars in the middle of 70-es, when Zuhovitski left for Israel.
Somewhere from the second school Naum Yakovlevich began to come there on seminars almost with the whole Chair and
young, at that time, assistants. It seems, Naum Yakovlevich was without his beard at that time and smoked as much as
during the last years. He himself reported at each seminar about different interesting things from the
sphere of mathematical models and methods of optimization.
It was not at once that we memorized him, first of all he himself as bright individuality and then the
legend about him (which was true in fact), how a prosperous officer (in his young age he was already
either captain or nearly colonel) changed a satisfying secure army life and career perspectives to the
life of a student of mechanical mathematics faculty of Voronezh University. Everybody was fascinated by
him (and me too) from the first meeting in Drogobych by his sincere cordial warmth, by his enthusiasm of
mathematical "games" and by his generous character, by his responsibility and everything good that he
succeeded to save till his last days.
I can't say that I belonged to the number of his close friends although our relationship was very friendly
- either because we were connected by the seminar or something else - I don't know. When he came to
Moscow he always came by to my house and we discussed as it used to be in 70-s - 80-s different scientific
and non - scientific things.
I remember that when Zuhovitski seminar already stopped working in 1978 I went to work to Institute of
System Research RAofS
to Shatalin, Naum Yakovlevich came to my home and said: "Venya, we should try to organize a seminar again to continue
Drogobych's one". "But how?" He said to me: "Can You persuade Shatalin to head a Seminar on
social-economic problems with a large trend in mathematical modeling?" I said that I could try. Krasner
and I came up to Shatalin (who was the member - correspondent of Academy of Sciences and vice-director of
SSRISR at that time) with this idea and without a great difficulty persuaded him. And the next year (or
even that very year) the first meeting of the Seminar took place in Voronezh. Athough the staff was
differed from one in Drogobych, but a lot of those who went to Drogobych did very well too. And as for
the quantity (about 200 people) this seminar was similar to one in Drogobych. Soon Shatalin seminar
became very popular and authoritative in scientific circles and it has been gathering within more than
20 years without large breaks and Naum Yakovlevich was the vice - president of organizational Committee
and in fact the main (along with his nice colleagues - G. Chernyshova and other singers) organizational
We can say without any exaggeration that the Seminar which took place in different places - some times
in Voronezh, in Rostov, in Novosibirsk, in the Baltic cities, etc was the seminar of Naum Yakovlevich.
Last time I met Naum Yakovlevich not long before his death at his home - he was already very ill, he realized
everything that was forward, but he hold with great dignity like during all his life, he didn't complain
and smoked, smoked. I also realized that that was probably our last meeting with Naum Yakovlevich - the
man of wonderful decency and kindness who I was lucky to meet within 30 years.
Veniamin Naumovich Livshiz
Dr. of economic science, Professor
The ISA of RAofS Section Chef
26th of May of 1999.