Numerical analysis in Zurich – 50 years ago

  • Martin H. Gutknecht

    Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich, Switzerland
Numerical analysis in Zurich – 50 years ago cover

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The Institute for Applied Mathematics at ETH Zurich, founded by Eduard Stiefel in January 1948, made seminal early contributions to numerical analysis and computer science. In numerical analysis the most important ones were the conjugate gradient method and the qd and LR algorithms – which are the predecessors of the ubiquitous QR algorithm. Those in computer science were the construction of the Swiss computer ERMETH, the introduction and development of compilers, and the collaboration at the ground-breaking computer language ALGOL 60. An important side-effect was the education of excellent young numerical analysts, quite a few of which emigrated to the United States –some temporarily, others for good.