Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Inspirational People in Numerical Computations

Inspirational people who have made significant contributions to scientific computations
Several people have made great contributions to numerical computations. They may not be mathematicians in the traditional sense but have advanced computational mathematics to the forefront of applied mathematics. Since most engineers do numerical computations rather than pure mathematics, we could call them mathematicians. Their work is available in the form of software or software libraries and when combined with computer graphics, provides the tools used by most engineers. Here are some people that I know have made great contributions to numerical computations and it would be great to know of others whose work I do not know from you, the readers of this post. Feel free to add your comments.

James H. Wilkinson was a mathematician and made seminal contributions in the early stages of numerical analysis. The algorithms he published in ALGOL heavily influenced subsequent Fortran libraries such as EISPACK. SIAM's oral history interview with James H. Wilkinson.

Cleve Moler is a mathematician, programmer, academician and developer of two respected Fortran libraries LINPACK and  EISPACK. Most important of all, he is an entrepreneur and founded MathWorks along with Jack Little to develop the industry standard software Matlab. SIAM's oral history interview with Cleve Moler.

Stephen Wolfram is a physicist and founded Wolfram research in 1986 to develop the mathematics software Mathematica.

Jack Dongarra is an academician and developer of a number of open source numerical libraries including EISPACK, LINPACK, BLAS, LAPACK, and Netlib. SIAM's oral history interview with Jack Dongarra.

Todd Veldhuizen first proposed the technique of Expression Templates which is a C++ template metaprogramming for an efficient implementation of multi-dimensioned arrays in C++. He developed the Blitz++ library based on this technique.

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