Person: Householder, Alston Scott
Alston Householder was an American mathematician who worked in mathematical biology and numerical analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Householder then taught mathematics in a number of different places and began to work for his doctorate in mathematics.
- From 1937 Householder spent eight years working on mathematical biology as a member of the Committee for Mathematical Biology at the University of Chicago.
- In the midst of this, to every area to which he addressed himself Householder brought organisation and systemisation.
- Although this work on mathematical biology occupied Householder for a relatively short period of his career, he wrote 33 papers on the topic and a monograph Mathematical Biophysics of the Central Nervous System written jointly with Herbert D Landahl and published in 1944.
- In 1944 Householder left the Committee for Mathematical Biology and became involved in the war effort.
- In 1946, after the end of the war, Householder joined the Mathematics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
- Not surprisingly there is a gap in Householder's prolific publication record while he became a leading expert in this new area.
- Even before this first publication in numerical analysis, Householder had been appointed Head of the Mathematics Panel of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1948.
- It is primarily due to the work of Householder that order has emerged from this chaos.
- Householder transformations are now routinely taught in courses in linear algebra, throughout the world, as is the systematic use of norms in linear algebra, which he pioneered.
- In 1964 Householder published one of his most important books The theory of matrices in numerical analysis.
- Householder will certainly not only be remembered for his research contributions.
- The idea for the first symposium was born in 1960 when Householder and several other colleagues discussed the idea at Ann Arbor.
- Householder left Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1969, after 25 years service, and became Professor of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee.
- After five years as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Householder retired.
- to honour him for his many contributions, these symposia are now called the Householder Symposia.
- At the 13th in the series of Householder Symposia held in Pontresina, Switzerland in 1996, Friedrich L Bauer spoke on Memories of Alston Householder.
Born 5 May 1904, Rockford, Illinois, USA. Died 4 July 1993, Malibu, California, USA.
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