Our Compatriots – Computer Pioneers.
Part 3. Israel Akushsky. Founder of unconventional computer arithmetic
Israel Akushsky (1911-1992), originally from Dnepropetrovsk, created the first in the world specialized computer with the calculation system of residual classes that had long exploitation period and productivity of over 1 million operations per second.
Studying at the Moscow State University, he began his career as numerator at the Research Institute of mathematics and mechanics of his Alma Mater.
In those years (1954-1956) he'd got an idea to use certain calculation system in the computers that could speed up calculation process. He devoted all his life to its realization. At first, the enthusiastic researcher worked at the special design bureau-245 as a senior scientific worker, later - as a head of the laboratory at the mathematics department. There he supervised the elaborations of the specialized computer for military purpose with the calculation system of residual classes. The speed of the computer was more than 1 million operations per second, which was the profound achievement of that time.
Yet, not all the things were so optimistic, although several technical solutions were patented in the countries leading in computer engineering (Great Britain, USA, Japan). While I.Akushsky was working at the scientific center in Zelenograd, one American company was ready to cooperate with him in creation of a new machine "stuffed" with his ideas and the newest electronic base from the States. Preliminary negotiations had begun already. K.Valiev, the Director of the Research Institute of Molecular Electronics, was preparing to begin works with the American newest chips. Suddenly I.Akushsky was called to the authorities. They proclaimed without any explanations: "Zelenograd scientific center shouldn't enrich the intellectual potential of the West!" And all works were interrupted. Unfortunately, that was not a solo case, when brutality and intrigues blocked the way for the brilliant technical thoughts of I.Akushsky.
Among computer efficiency issues, scientist paid great attention to the speed and data compactness. Here he and his students managed to find several successful solutions. Thus, one of them helped to compress telemetric information from one of the satellites by 6 times.
On the basis of residual classes he elaborated the calculations methods in the huge diapason for numbers of hundred thousand grades. This determined the approaches for solving several calculation tasks in the theory of numbers that stayed unresolved since the times of Euler, Gauss, and Fermat.
I.Akushsky also dealt with mathematical theory of calculations, its applications in the computer parallel arithmetic, spreading this theory onto the field of multi-dimensional algebraic objects, questions of reliability of special calculators, obstacle-protected codes, methods of calculations organization using means of optoelectronics.
I.Akushsky is a creator of a unique computer. Over 200 research publications widely known in the USSR and abroad convincingly speak about it.
By B.N. Malinovskiy.