But when Mikhail Lavrentyev, a Siberian mathematician of lofty provenance, opens the door to a research lab, he reveals what is saving Akademgorodok from sliding into irreversible institutional decrepitude: one very spherical man and another with severely crossed eyes hunched over computer terminals.
These two doctoral students are writing code for Intel
Lavrentyev's grandfather, also Mikhail, was the prime mover in creating Akademgorodok.
It was while working in the closed nuclear research town of Sarov that the elder Lavrentyev came upon the idea of creating an entirely new science town.
It has been his
grandson's fortune to oversee Akademgorodok
was a new idea, multidisciplinary, to give young scientists a real chance to develop ideas," Lavrentyev
"My grandfather was a fighter," Lavrentyev
says, emerging from his
institute, braced against a cutting wind, wearing only a sport coat.
Attached to his
lapel is a small pin, a cameo of his