Person: Hammersley, John Michael
John Hammersley was a Scottish mathematician who worked in statistics and probability and in particular in Monte Carlo methods.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Guy Hammersley worked for the United States Steel Corporation and at the time of John's birth he was in charge of their Glasgow office.
- John's primary education began in 1925 when he entered the Waterside School in Bishops Stortford.
- Hammersley published a variety of papers in 1951 including A theorem on multiple integrals, On a certain type of integral associated with circular cylinders, The sums of products of the natural numbers, and The total length of the edges of the polyhedron.
- One of the areas which typified Hammersley's mathematical contributions was in Monte Carlo methods, a technique to estimate a quantity through computations involving random numbers.
- In 1965, after contributing many papers on the topic, Hammersley published the book Monte Carlo Methods, jointly authored with D C Handscomb.
- With the publication of the book Hammersley seemed to feel that he should move on to other topics, which indeed he did.
- In addition to his research, Hammersley was also passionately interested in mathematical education and wrote many articles on the topic.
- In 1987 he retired from his positions in Oxford and David Kendall gave a Speech proposing the toast to John Hammersley - 1 October 1987 which was subsequently published under this title.
- Hammersley was also honoured with a conference at the Mathematical Institute in Oxford in 1990 to celebrate his 70th birthday.
- The proceedings of the conference were published under the title Disorder in physical systems edited by G R Grimmett and D J A Welsh (who were both Hammersley's doctoral students).
- Hammersley received many honours for his outstanding contributions.
Born 21 March 1920, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Died 2 May 2004, Oxford, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive