Russia is an efficient producer of colorful mathematicians. Leonid Polterovich wrote an appreciation of one of them, Vladimir Igorevich Arnold [pictured here]. It’s called “Remembering V.I. Arnold, 1937-2010.” and begins:

“Those who know the material will not learn anything new, and those who do not know it will not understand anything.”

—V.I. Arnold about a badly written introduction.I’d like to write a couple of words about Vladimir Arnold, a great man whom I had a privilege to know and to whom I owe a lot; the man whose name appears in virtually every mathematical discussion among my colleagues working in symplectic topology and dynamical systems: Arnold’s conjecture, KAM theory with A for Arnold, Liouville-Arnold theorem, Arnold’s tongue, Arnold’s diffusion, Arnold’s cat, etc., etc.

Arnold was one of the major attractions, one of the wonders of Moscow mathematical life in the 1980’s…