This page is dedicated to the memory of Professor Viacheslav (Slava) Belavkin, who died on 27 November 2012, aged 66. Its purpose is to give the reader a brief account of Slava's extensive research interests and pioneering contributions, as described by himself.
Viacheslav Pavlovich Belavkin was born in Lviv in 1946, and graduated from Moscow State University in 1970. Slava's thesis was entitled "Optimal estimation and measurements of quantum systems" and his supervisor was the eminent probabilist Ruslan Stratonovich who developed the symmetric alternative to Ito's stochastic calculus along with the theory of nonlinear filtering. Indeed, Slava's later work would be to extend the rich seam of mathematical research of Stratonovich from the classical to the quantum domain. This program led to the development of quantum Markov models and quantum stochastic processes, dynamical non-demolition principles for quantum continuous measurement, and ultimately to the birth of quantum filtering theory. In 1996 he shared the Main State Prize of the Russian Federation with Stratonovich. In the1980s Slava visited the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, and the Volterra Centre in Rome before taking up an appointment at Nottingham University in 1992. He was promoted to a Chair in Mathematical Physics in 1996. This was a very fertile period for Quantum Probability, and Slava would play a major role in nurturing and shaping the field.
In the last decade there has been a resurgence of interest in Slava's work, as experimental capabilities reached the stage where the models he proposed can be implemented in practice. His visionary ideas are now the basis of quantum feedback control, and the paradigms he introduced are gaining mainstream acceptance, particularly with the emergence of Quantum Control Engineering as a mathematical discipline.
Slava was still very much active and doubtlessly would have made many more important contributions, had he not succumbed to serious illness in the last few years. Slava is survived by his wife Nadia and son Roman.