Ilia Vekua

Ilia Vekua held several administrative and academic positions in Georgia and in the USSR before becoming the Rector of Tbilisi State University July-September 1953 and in 1966-1972.   He served both as the vice-rector of the Tbilisi State University (1944-1947) and later as the head of the faculty of Advanced Mathematics at TSU from 1947 to 1951.    
 Ilia Vekua was born in the village Shesheleti, Gali district on April 23, 1907. After graduating from high school, he continued the studies at the faculty of Physics and Mathematics of Tbilisi State University in 1925.
In 1930, Ilia successfully completed his studies at the faculty of Physics and Mathematics and received a recommendation to continue his postgraduate program at the Leningrad University.  After completing his postgraduate studies, I. Vekua returned to Tbilisi and began working at the faculty of Physics and Mathematics of Tbilisi State University in 1933.   Vekua, who gave lectures in various fields of modern mathematics, was an active participant in scientific seminars.   These lectures and seminars marked the beginning of his multidimensional  pedagogical career.  In 1937, I. Vekua defended his dissertation on Distribution of Elastic Waves in an Infinite Layer  and became Associate Professor in the mathematics department.
In 1939,  after his successful defense of his doctoral dissertation on Complex Presentation of Differential Equations of Elliptic Type and its Usage in Solving Boundary Tasks, Vekua  achieved the rank of Professor in the department.   Between  1940 and 1944, Vekua served as the Dean of the faculty of Physics and Mathematics.    In 1944, Ilia Vekua was elected as a member-correspondent of the Academy of Sciences of Georgian SSR and Academician in 1946.   He published the fundamental monograph - New Methods of Solving Elliptic Equations in 1948 and received the USSR State prize for this publication in 1950.  
In 1951, I. Vekua moved to Moscow to continue his scientific activities there. He was elected as the Professor of the faculty of Differential Equations at the Lomonosov University of Moscow in 1951, where he served until 1959.  In 1958, I. Vekua was elected as a member of the Academy of Sciences of Soviet Union.   Afterwards, in 1959, he was appointed the first Rector of newly established Novosibirsk State University.  
When his term as Rector ended in Novosibibirsk,   Vekua returned to Tbilisi to become the Rector of Tbilisi State University.  During his term as Rector, I. Vekua made several useful initiatives, including the establishment of several new faculties and departments, the founding of the Applied Mathematics Laboratory and furnishing this laboratory with the most up-to-date technology necessary for research.   Later, Vekua helped to establish the Institute of Mathematics and became its director. After his death, the institute was named after him.
In May 1972, Ilia Vekua was appointed the President of the Academy of Sciences of Georgian SSR, filling the  position held by his great teacher – Nicko Muskhelishvili.   Ilia Vekua passed away in 1977 and was buried in Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures.