Opening words of the first Bernoulli Congress

The First Bernoulli Congress

Among the remarkable events of the 80s was the First World Congress of the Bernoulli Society which was held 8–14 September 1986 in Tashkent. The preparatory work was done by the Soviet Organizing Committee (Honorary Chairman – A.N. Kolmogorov, Chairman – Yu.V. Prokhorov, Vice-Chairmen – S.Kh. Sirazhdinov and A.N. Shiryaev). The statistic of the Congress is the following: 35 scientific sections, 100 forty-minute talks, 181 fifteen -minute contributions, 430 stand posters, 15 non-formal discussions, 3 round tables on topics: “Computational methods and tools in theoretical and applied statistics”, “Relationship between theory and applications”, “Historical aspects of development of probability theory and mathematical statistics”. The Congress was opened by written “Greetings” of A.N. Kolmogorov to the participants followed by the forum talk of A.N. Kolmogorov and V.A. Uspensky (at that time A.N. Kolmogorov was very sick and could not participate in the Congress; his “Greetings” were recorded in Moscow by V.M. Tikhomirov and A.N. Shiryaev).

A.N.Shiryaev, Moscow

Greetings of A.N. Kolmogorov

“Dear ladies and gentleman! Allow me to welcome you today to the opening of the Congress.

It is significant to me that the Society that has taken the name Bernoulli, a Society uniting specialists in just one field of mathematics – probability theory and mathematical statistics – has succeeded in organizing a conference of its fellow members so representative that it is comparable to international mathematics congresses. But if one thinks about it, then one can find an explanation for this seemingly paradox phenomenon.

James Bernoulli, one of the eminent members of the Bernoulli family, has entered the pages of the history of science by virtue of his many achievements. But two of his credits should be mentioned especially. He is the father of the science of probability theory having obtained the first serious result known everywhere as Bernoulli´s theorem. But apart from this, it should not be forgotten that he was essentially also the father of combinatorial analysis. He used the elements of this discipline to prove his theorem but he delved into the field of combinatorial analysis considerably further discovering in particular the remarkable sequence of numbers which now bear his name. These numbers are encountered continually in scientific investigations right down to our time.

We all feel that one of the basic requirements of mathematics that is evident at present is the investigation of very complex systems. And this complexity on the one hand is very closely related to randomness and on the other – it necessitates in some measure an extension of combinatorial analysis itself. All this gives hope that as time passes the Bernoulli Society will increase its influence more and more in the mathematical world. I wish the participants of the Congress all of the very best.”

From: Theory Probab. Appl., Vol. 32, No.2, p. 200,
translated from Russian Journal by Bernard Seckler

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