Ludmila L. Zmievskaya

How, when, and why have you joined the Programming Department?: 

I was assigned to the PD in 1958 upon graduating from the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics of the Moscow State University.

What was your first impression of Andrei Ershov and other colleagues?: 

Andrei Petrovich was a wonderful person – handsome, intelligent, and educated. You could not but fall in love with him!

What can you tell about your work at the PD? In what projects you participated? What research fields did you work on? Who was your first direct supervisor?: 

I participated in Alpha and BETA projects, the works on PL/1 standard, and translation of PL/1 and Algol 68.
The PD is my life and my destiny. It is like initial values in solving a differential equation – the curve type depends on them. The PD is my initial values. All my life would have been different without it, without Andrei Ershov, Gena Kozhukhin, Igor Pottosin, and others.

Who of your colleagues most influenced your professional growth?: 

Gena Kozhukhin. He was the conscience of the Alpha project. You might fail to fulfill your assignment in time once or maybe twice, but then you were ashamed to look Gena in the face trying to justify your next failure. He took sheer pleasure in finding system bugs – the harder the better! He was all action, not talk, and I think he greatly contributed to the success of the Alpha project.

What, in your opinion, are the most significant scientific and practical results obtained at the Programming Department?: 

Creation of the Alpha system.

Can you remember the most joyous day at the Department?: 

The most cheerful days were the days when we gathered at Luda Trokhan’s place without any cause. We were young; we sang and danced, ate, drank and talked about everything. We were happy together. It was a long-long time ago.

…And the saddest one?: 

The saddest day, or rather moment, was in the House of Scientists, when the lid has been lifted off Andrei Ershov’s coffin at his civil memorial service. We steeled ourselves for this moment, but it came as a shock. We could not recognize Andrei Petrovich in death. I will remember it for the rest of my life!

With whom of your colleagues at PD are you still connected professionally, or simply on friendly terms?: 

Almost all my friends and colleagues have left for far-away lands or went for a better world. After Lilia Korneva was gone, I had no close friends left.

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