Richard Wesley Hamming (February 11, 1915 – January 7, 1998) was an
American mathematician whose work had many implications for computer
engineering and telecommunications. His contributions include the
Contents 1 Early life 2 Manhattan Project 3 Bell Laboratories 4 Later life 5 Appearances 6 Awards and professional recognition 7 Bibliography 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links Early life[edit]
Richard Wesley Hamming was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 11,
1915,[1] the son of Richard J. Hamming, a credit manager, and Mabel G.
Redfield.[2] He grew up in Chicago, where he attended Crane Technical
High School and Crane Junior College.[2]
Hamming initially wanted to study engineering, but money was scarce
during the Great Depression, and the only scholarship offer he
received came from the University of Chicago, which had no engineering
school. Instead, he became a science student, majoring in
mathematics,[3] and received his
Shortly before the first field test (you realize that no small scale experiment can be done—either you have a critical mass or you do not), a man asked me to check some arithmetic he had done, and I agreed, thinking to fob it off on some subordinate. When I asked what it was, he said, "It is the probability that the test bomb will ignite the whole atmosphere." I decided I would check it myself! The next day when he came for the answers I remarked to him, "The arithmetic was apparently correct but I do not know about the formulas for the capture cross sections for oxygen and nitrogen—after all, there could be no experiments at the needed energy levels." He replied, like a physicist talking to a mathematician, that he wanted me to check the arithmetic not the physics, and left. I said to myself, "What have you done, Hamming, you are involved in risking all of life that is known in the Universe, and you do not know much of an essential part?" I was pacing up and down the corridor when a friend asked me what was bothering me. I told him. His reply was, "Never mind, Hamming, no one will ever blame you."[5] Hamming remained at Los Alamos until 1946, when he accepted a post at
the Bell Telephone Laboratories (BTL). For the trip to New Jersey, he
bought Klaus Fuchs's old car. When he later sold it just weeks before
Fuchs was unmasked as a spy, the
A two-dimensional visualisation of the Hamming distance. The color of
each pixel indicates the
At the
The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.[20] In later life, Hamming became interested in teaching. Between 1960 and
1976, when he left the Bell labs, he held visiting or adjunct
professorships at Stanford University, the City College of New York,
the
The way mathematics is currently taught it is exceedingly dull. In the calculus book we are currently using on my campus, I found no single problem whose answer I felt the student would care about! The problems in the text have the dignity of solving a crossword puzzle – hard to be sure, but the result is of no significance in life.[3] Hamming attempted to rectify the situation with a new text, Methods of
Hamming discusses the use and potential of computers in the 1965 film Logic By Machine. Awards and professional recognition[edit] Turing Award, Association for Computing Machinery, 1968.[22]
The
Hamming, Richard W. (1962). Numerical Methods for Scientists and
Engineers. New York: McGraw-Hill. ; second edition 1973
— (1968). Calculus and the Computer Revolution. Boston:
Houghton-Mifflin.
— (1971). Introduction To Applied Numerical Analysis. New York:
McGraw-Hill. ; Hemisphere Pub. Corp reprint 1989; Dover reprint
2012
— (1972). Computers and Society. New York: McGraw-Hill.
— (1977). Digital Filters. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice
Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-212571-0. ; second edition 1983; third
edition 1989.
— (1980). Coding and Information Theory. Englewood Cliffs, New
Jersey: Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-139139-0. ; second
edition 1986.
— (1985). Methods of
Unconventional introductory textbook which attempts to both teach calculus and give some idea of what it is good for at the same time. Might be of special interest to someone teaching an introductory calculus course using a conventional textbook in order to pick up some new pedagogical viewpoints. — (1991). The Art of Probability for Scientists and Engineers. Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0-201-51058-4. — (1997). Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn. Australia: Gordon and Breach. ISBN 978-90-5699-500-3. Entertaining and instructive. Hamming tries to extract general lessons—both personal and technical – to aid one in having a successful technical career by telling stories from his own experiences. Notes[edit] ^ a b c d e f g h "Computer Pioneers – Richard Wesley Hamming". IEEE
Computer Society. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
^ a b c d e f g Carnes 2005, pp. 220–221.
^ a b c d e f g h i "Richard W. Hamming – A.M.
References[edit] Carnes, Mark C. (2005). American National Biography. Supplement 2. New
York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-522202-9.
Dijkstra, Edsger W. (1976). A Discipline of Programming (PDF).
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
ISBN 978-0-13-215871-8. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
Hamming, Richard W. (1950). "Error detecting and error correcting
codes" (PDF). Bell System Technical Journal. 29 (2): 147–160.
doi:10.1002/j.1538-7305.1950.tb00463.x. MR 0035935. Archived from
the original (PDF) on May 25, 2006.
Hamming, Richard (1962). Numerical Methods for Scientists and
Engineers. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-486-65241-6.
Hamming, Richard (1980). "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of
Mathematics". American Mathematical Monthly. 87 (2): 81–90.
doi:10.2307/2321982. JSTOR 2321982.
Hamming, Richard (August–September 1998). "
External links[edit] Wikiquote has quotations related to: Richard Hamming O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Richard Hamming", MacTutor
History of
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