**ILIA VEKUA'S CENTENARY**

The outstanding mathematician and mechanist Ilia Vekua was born on April
23, 1907 in Abkhazian village Shesheleti (

After finishing the postgraduate course in 1933, Ilia Vekua returned to

In 1951, Ilia Vekua moved to

Ilia Vekua was the founding rector (1959-1964) of

After the USSR National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
was formed in 1956, Ilia Vekua became its permanent member. From 1963 he was
member of the National Committee of
Soviet Mathematicians.

At the end of 1964 Ilia Vekua returned to

Ilia Vekua's research works cover various fields of mathematics and
mechanics. Many of them are devoted to the theory of partial differential
equations in which Ilia Vekua took a great interest. In the analytical theory
of linear differential equations of elliptic type with two independent
variables, an important part was played by formulas of general representation
of solutions by means of analytic functions of one complex variable. These
formulas made it possible to widen considerably the field of application of the
methods of the classical theory of analytic functions of a complex variable.
Based on these studies, Ilia Vekua developed new methods for solving boundary
value problems which enabled him to investigate a vast class of boundary value
problems formulated in nonclassical sense. The method he proposed for reducing
boundary value problems to singular integral equations is one of the most
powerful means for studies in this field. Special mention should be made of a
general boundary value problem for elliptic equations, which Ilia Vekua
formulated and studied most completely. The well known boundary value problems
of Dirichlet, Neumann and Poincar'e are particular cases of this problem. Ilia
Vekua derived the formulas of integral representation of holomorphic functions,
which in the mathematical literature are named after him, and used them as an
important tool in investigating the problem.

Ilia Vekua is one of the founders of the theory of generalized analytic
functions.

Ilia Vekua worked out several versions of the mathematical theory of
elastic shells.

In spite of his grave illness, Ilia Vekua continued to pursue his
scientific, teaching and organizational activities till the last days of his
life. His last monographs were published posthumously. In September 1976, at
Ilia Vekua's suggestion, the IUTAM's General Assembly decided to organize the
3rd International Symposium on the Theory of Shells in

R.P.
Gilbert, G.V. Jaiani