Zahid Khalilov was born on January 14, 1911 in Sarajli village (now Bolnisi district) of Ekatrinenfeld region of Tiflis province.
After finishing secondary school and Turkic Pedagogical Technical school in Tiflis, in 1929 he has joined mathematics department of Azerbaijan State University in Baku. As the University was closed in 1930-1934, he continued his education at Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute and after graduating from it he has returned to Tiflis and worked at Railway Transport Engineers Institute.
In 1937 in Tiflis he has joined the post-graduate course of Mathematics Institute and in 1940, on April 22, under supervision of famous mathematician, prof. S. Bergman at Tbilisi State University defended PhD degree dissertation “Clebsch problem and its generalizations”. He was the second (after Ibrahim Ibrahimov) person among the Caucasus turkish earning the candidate of physico-mathematical sciences degree (opponents Muskheleshvli, Vekua).
In 1940 he was invited to Baku, to Azerbaijan State University. So, he has connected his life with Azerbaijan and its science.
From 1942 he has passed to Azerbaijan branch of the AS of the USSR and was appointed a head of physics and mathematics sectors. In 1946 he has defended the doctor’s degree dissertation “Investigation of parameter dependence of boundary value problems” with successes and in his 35 years became the first doctor of pyhsico-mathematical sciences of Azerbaijan.
Beginning from the early fiftieth Z. Khalilov’s papers began to be published in such scientific centers as Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Tbilisi and also in the USA. He was the founder of functional analysis school in Azerbaijan and at the same time one of the ideologists of this field in the USSR. It should be especially noted that the first text book “Functional Analysis” in the USSR was written by him (1949).
In 1950 Z. Khalilov was appointed the director of the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics. In 1955 he was elected a full member (academician) of Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences. In 1957-1959 academician Z. Khalilov was vice-president, in 1962-1967 the President of AS of Azerbaijan. From 1967 till the end of his life he has directed the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics created by him.
The outstanding Azerbaijan mathematician, honored worker of science, academician Z.Khalilov was elected a deputy of the Supreme Soviet and Soviet of Nations of the USSR, was decorated with “Red Banner of Labour”, “The Badge of Honour” orders and was rewarded some other prizes.
He passed away on February 4, 1974 in his 63 years and was buried in Alley of Honours. One street and school bear his name.
His main investigation are in the field of functional analysis and its application to integral and differential equations, continuum mechanics, mathematical theory of automatic control, applied mathematics and other fields of mathematics. Being one the first mathematicians of Azerbaijan of Soviet period, he has laid foundation of functional analysis school in Azerbaijan. He has solved a general boundary value problem for a system of polyharmonic equations, gave the analog of the Fourier method for solving a mixed problem with unseparated variables, and a net method for model type equations. He has created theory of abstract singular operators, gave the solution of some problems applied to development of oil and gas reservoirs in hydromechanics, studied the spectrum of not self-adjoint operator in Banach space.
He has great merits in training high-skilled personnel. Being the founder of functional analysis school in Azerbaijan he has authored the first “Functional Analysis” book in the USSR. He was elected the President of Azerbaijan mathematical Society.