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>Timoshenko was a mathematician, and approached his subject as an applied
>mathematician would. He searched for "the elegant solution."
Timoshenko's field was really applied mechanics, and his publications are 
aimed toward strength of materials and structural dynamics. The rest of 
the following exerpt is at 
http://ece.clemson.edu/crb/misc/scientists/timoshenko.htm. I think I read 
someplace where he left Russia during the Civil War with the Red Army in 
hot pursuit. The story sounded very exciting.


STEPHEN P. TIMOSHENKO was born in 1878 in Russia. His father Timofeyevich 
was a surveyor and his mother was a voracious reader. During his early 
childhood, Timoshenko enjoyed playing in piles of sand near building 
construction sites - he built fortresses, castles and especially rail 
roads. When he was five years old his schooling started. Timoshenko never 
liked his class room studies and at home he worked with pleasure. He felt 
sitting five hours every day in a class room is a waste of time. He 
always pushed himself forward or to display his knowledge to the teacher. 

 Timoshenko studied mathematics with pleasure and solved various problems 
for amusement and not because they were assigned. When he was promoted to 
grade four, Timoshenko learnt how to operate a harvesting machine. At the 
age of 14 he learnt to sketch and draw, and participated in planning and 
building a house. At the age of 18 he joined an institute at the Ministry 
of Ways of Communication in St.Petersburg. During the summers of 1899 and 
1900 Timoshenko spent practicing on construction of Volchansk- Kupyansk 
rail road so that he could learn all the important types of construction. 
His student years coincided with the start of political quickening in 
Russia manifested primarily in student disturbances. In the summer of 
1900, the international exposition opened in Paris and he went as a 
student who knew foreign language to serve at the ways of communications 
exhibit. With 200 roubles and a free ticket Timoshenko set out from 
Petersburg for Paris. This was his first trip abroad. 

 Upon graduation from the institute, Timoshenko was faced with a year of 
compulsory military service at the time when most of the youths opposed 
military service. Military service not only afforded him an opportunity 
to become better acquainted with low class people but gymnastics and 
living in a tent in summer improved his physical health. 

 After military service Timoshenko got married to Aledxandra 
Archangleskya in 1902 who was a medical student. At that time he worked 
at the mechanics laboratory with a salary of 100 roubles a month. He 
became well acquainted with testing machines and soon saw that apart from 
learning the techniques of mechanical testing of building materials he 
could accomplish nothing at the laboratory. Timoshenko felt that for a 
scientific work a more thorough grounding in mathematics and mechanics 
was needed and he tried to use every opportunity available at the 
institute to expand his education. Then he joined The Petersburg 
Polytechnic in 1903. In 1904 he travelled to Europe with a specific 
purpose of becoming better acquainted with German technical school and 
their teaching methods. Timoshenko took interest in reading Rayleigh's 
book The Theory of Sound and he was particularly captivated by the 
approximate methods of calculating vibration frequencies of complex 
structures. In 1907-1908 he gave a full course on Strength of materials 
and later on published in lithographic form. 


Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw


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