Talk:Israel Gelfand

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Should anything be done about the inconsistent transliteration of the last name? Having added the name in Cyrillic, I note that the page title itself is inconsistent. It should be "Izrail' Moiseevich Gel'fand", right?-- 19:45, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

We don't have to be completely consistent - for example it is Boris Spassky, not Spasskii, because the rule that the common name is used by preference is applied. In this case it is not so clear. There is a case for using Izrail, but I found that Israel is common in English sources. We don't have to include the soft sign at the end, anyway. Charles Matthews 20:46, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Boris" is both the precise transliteration and common English usage, so it is not a good example. "Israel" is simply an anglicization, like "Joseph Stalin" as opposed to "Iosif Stalin".

Part of my comment refers to the multiple references to "Gelfand" and "Gel'fand". I take the view that with actual Cyrillic around, the case for scholarly transliteration becomes weak. As it is, most of the time his name on his own work appears as "Gelfand". Springer-Verlag, for example, uses this for 13 out of 14 of his books that list him as author/editor.

I view the apostrophe-for-soft-sign as appropriate only when part of a larger transliteration system, like the AMS follows. There are of course mathematicians better known in common spellings (Lobachevsky and Shafarevich) and mathematicians better known (well, in my experience) with diacritical notations (Šanin and Miščenko) but the latter can't be page titles.

Anyway, I'm absolutely not going to take independent action, but I'd be happier if there were some attempt at uniformity.-- 15:14, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As Gelfand emigrated to the united states, I guess that he has an oficial name in English as well. Could be Israel Moeiseevich Gelfand or even without the patronymic: Israel Gelfand. But it is not likely going to contain apostrophes or "Izrail'". Most of his publications in English seem to bear "Israel Gelfand" or "I.M. Gelfand". I Suppose that "Israel Gelfand" would be an appropriate title to this article. (see e.g. Stravinsky). --Lenthe 14:37, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't think he did emigrate. He has a visiting professorship in the states but I think he's based in Russia. A Geek Tragedy 22:03, 27 March 2006 (UTC) Ignore that I checked it and he emigratedA Geek Tragedy 13:42, 2 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The quality of the writing in this article is very low. For instance,the first and many subsequent sentences begin with the work "he". It reads like a second-grade essay. I have initiated it as "start" quality. Geminatea 06:30, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Does anyone know Gelfand's current nationality? Ukrainian, Russian, American? It would effect some of the categories under which he's filed. A Geek Tragedy 19:26, 6 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

name in Hebrew alphabet?[edit]

Does it make sense having it there? As far as I can see the only thing suggesting it may be appropriate is that he is ethnically Jewish. We have the Russian because we KNOW Gelfand has used the Russian form. Nothing either here nor at MacTutor suggests he has ever referred to himself using Hebrew letters. A Geek Tragedy 20:13, 8 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sergiu or Sergei[edit]

If Gelfand's son is already mentioned, should not his name be Sergei? 16:14, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Died Monday?[edit]

There are rumours going around the mathematical blogosphere that Gel’fand died today (Monday). I'm not putting anything in the article page, since they all seem to trace back to this posting, and I don't know who that is who wrote it. Presumably it will be announced tomorrow if true; otherwise, I'll come back and delete this comment. —Toby Bartels (talk) 07:32, 6 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, I found something more reliable (I can actually verify that this is somebody who might know), so I'm going with it. (Let me know if I'm violating some guideline on reporting recent deaths.) —Toby Bartels (talk) 07:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Russian and Ukrainian[edit]

Both Russian and Ukrainian were official languages in the Soviet Union (Source:Language Policy in the Soviet Union by L.A. Grenoble. Hence his name in Ukrainian should be mentioned in this article. — Mariah-Yulia • Talk to me! 16:52, 17 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is true but irrelevant. In fact, dozens of other languages were also official languages of USSR, such as Tatar, Tajik, Armenian, etc. So, what gives? The question is not what's official, but under what language spelling the person was known. As the article states, Gelfand left Ukraine for Moscow as a teenager and never lived there again. He is not known professionally under Ukrainian version of his name. His original mathematical works appeared in Russian, English, French and German, but never in Ukrainian or Yiddish. Having grown up in Yiddish speaking family, he might be known under Yiddish version of the name, but definitely not Ukrainian. I think the case for inclusion of both Yiddish and Ukrainian is very small, the latter even smaller than the former.
Please do not revert and argue here until the consensus is reached. Mhym (talk) 17:26, 17 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are you trying to make me believe the politics of Ukrainization of the Soviet Union did not take place in Odesa? Being born in 1913 he must have had lessons in Ukrainian at school, besides you have no proof his family never spoke Ukrainian. I think its racist to assume Jewish people in Odesa refused to speak Ukrainian... He is known in Ukraine under his Ukrainian name, hence in my point of view it should be there, whether he used it or not is irrelevant to me. Vera Wang is not known professionally under the Chinese version of her name. Her original works appeared never in Chinese too.,, yet her name in Chinese appears her wikipage too. In other words putting relevant version (he was born in the Ukrainian SSR where kids learned Ukrainian at schools) of someone name in wikipedia articles is not that strange... — Mariah-Yulia • Talk to me! 18:14, 17 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You are confused. The burden of proof that Gelfand used a Ukrainian version of his name is on you; merely being born in a territory where a certain language was spoken is insufficient. For example, in Arizona or California, Spanish is commonly spoken, widely popular, taught in many schools and has as much legal protection as English. Should we include a Spanish version of the name for every person who hails from the area? Ms. Wang example, or whatever, true or false, is the WP:OSE type of reasoning and has no bearing. Regarding "known in Ukraine under his Ukrainian name" makes no sense; e.g. Izrail Mojisejevič Gelfand is the name under which he is known in Slovenia. So? Calling me or my reasoning "racist" is a vio of WP:NPA and I will not be responding to that. I expect an apology. Mhym (talk) 19:45, 17 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I do apology for given you the idea I did (it) but I never try to imply you are a racist. Your Eastern European logic is clashing with my Western European logic (and as a true Westerner I will never admit I was wrong (just like George W. Bush)File:Navy.gif). I still think I am right but for the time being feel no need to fight on... Never saw the wikipedia rule that says: merely being born in a territory where a certain language was spoken is insufficient. Does it exist? Mind you Ukrainian was an official language in the Ukrainian SSR, Spanish isn't the official language of the USA. — Mariah-Yulia • Talk to me! 20:01, 17 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I will ignore unrelated political comments and will respond only to the last assertion, that "Spanish isn't the official language of the USA." My reply: neither is English, as well explained here. Further, Puerto Rico, is a majority Spanish speaking US territory. Mhym (talk) 20:10, 17 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the info, did not know that... — Mariah-Yulia • Talk to me! 20:16, 17 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]



  • Father: Moshe Gelfand
  • Mother: Perl Gelfand
Source: The International Who's Who.

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veganism of gelfand[edit]

I recommend that it be mentioned that gelfand became a vegan late in life. (talk) 05:31, 5 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]