Person: Hamming, Richard Wesley
Richard Hamming was an American mathematician and computer scientist, best known for the socalled Hamming code.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
 In a paper published in Acta Mathematica in 1936, Trjitzinsky studied linear differential systems with two point boundary conditions of a particular type and Hamming extended this work in his thesis.
 In particular, Hamming investigated the Green's function and also the characteristic solutions for which he obtained asymptotic expressions.
 However by the time that Hamming was recruited to the project it was being undertaken at Los Alamos.
 In addition to Shannon and Tukey, some other young mathematicians had joined the Mathematical Research Department at Bell Labs just before Hamming.
 These included Donald Percy Ling (19121981) and Brockway McMillan (1915) who had been at Los Alamos at the same time as Hamming.
 Hamming is best known for his work on errordetecting and errorcorrecting codes.
 Hamming codes, Hamming distance and Hamming metric are standard terms used today in coding theory but they are also used in many other areas of mathematics.
 How did Hamming come to do this work?
 It was in 1947 when Hamming set computers at Bell Labs to work on a particular problem over the weekend.
 Hamming thought out a way not only to determine if a single error had occurred but also, by adding extra parity checks, to detect where it had occurred.
 Work in codes is related to packing problems and the errorcorrecting codes discovered by Hamming led to the solution of a packing problem for matrices over finite fields.
 In 1956 Hamming worked on the early computer, the IBM 650.
 Hamming also worked on numerical analysis, integrating differential equations, and the Hamming spectral window which is much used in computation for smoothing data before Fourier analysing it.
 Hamming has received many awards for his pioneering work.
 The IEEE named a medal "The Richard W.
 In 1996, in Munich, Hamming received the prestigious $130,000 Eduard Rheim Award for Achievement in Technology for his work on error correcting codes.
 In 1997 Hamming retired from teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School and was made Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
Born 11 February 1915, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Died 7 January 1998, Monterey, California, USA.
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References
Adapted from other CC BYSA 4.0 Sources:
 Oâ€™Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive