Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James H. Wilkinson
- This article is about James H. Wilkinson the mathematician. For the American Revolutionary War general, see James Wilkinson.
James Hardy Wilkinson (27 September, 1919 - 5 October, 1986) was a prominent figure in the field of numerical analysis, a field at the boundary of applied mathematics and computer science particularly useful to physics and engineering.
Born in Strood, England, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated top of the class. Taking up war work in 1940, he began working on ballistics but transferred to the National Physical Laboratory in 1946, where he worked with Alan Turing on the ACE computer project.
Later, Wilkinson's interests took him into the numerical analysis field, where he discovered many significant algorithms.
He received the Turing Award in 1970 "for his research in numerical analysis to facilitate the use of the high-speed digital computer, having received special recognition for his work in computations in linear algebra and 'backward' error analysis."
- see also: Wilkinson's polynomial
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