The standard procedure for multiplication of two n-digit numbers requires a number of elementary operations proportional to , or in the big-O notation. In 1952, Andrey Kolmogorov conjectured that the classical algorithm was asymptotically optimal, meaning that any algorithm for that task would require elementary operations.
In 1960, Kolmogorov organized a seminar on mathematical problems in cybernetics at the Moscow State University, where he stated the conjecture and other problems in the complexity of computation. Within a week, Karatsuba, then a 23-year-old student, found an algorithm (later it was called "divide and conquer") that multiplies two n-digit numbers in elementary steps, thus disproving the conjecture. Kolmogorov was very agitated about the discovery; he communicated it at the next meeting of the seminar, which was then terminated. Kolmogorov published the method in 1962, in the Proceedings of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The article had been written by Kolmogorov, possibly in collaboration with Yuri Ofman, but listed "A. Karatsuba and Yu. Ofman" as the authors. Karatsuba only became aware of the paper when he received the reprints from the publisher.
Особенно умиляет что при элементарности алгоритма Колмогоров оставался в заблуждении 8 лет, ну деталь с авторством статьи. Интересно - можно ли в ней усмортреть нарушение авторских прав?