The Nature of the Computer: A Nontraditional Point of View


The Nature of the Computer: A Nontraditional Point of View


Stephen Smale


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(This information was taken from the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series Program 1989-1990).

Stephen Smale was born in Flint, Michigan and was educated at the University of Michigan, receiving his B.S. in 1952, his M.S. in 1953, and his Ph.D. in 1957. He is Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, a position he has held since 1964. Dr. Smale is a foreign member of the Brazilian Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and has twice been a visiting member at the Institute des Hautes Eludes Scientifiques. In1976, he was visiting professor there, and has served in the same capacity at the lnstituto de Matematica Pura e Aplicada in Rio de Janeiro, the University of Paris, and Yale University. Dr. Smale has been given the Veblen Prize for Geometry of the American Mathematical Society (1965), the University of Michigan Sesquicentennial Award (1967), and the Chauvenet Prize of the Mathematical Association ofAmerica (1988). He is known for his proof of the integrity of the simplex algorithm, published in 1982.

His Work: Dr. Smale has directed his incisive attention to a succession of areas in mathematics over the years. He was honored with the Fields Medal for fundamental contributions to differential topology, including a pioneering proof of the Poincare conjecture. He subsequently has made no less pioneering contributions to the fields of dynamical systems and, more recently, computational complexity, both areas of great current interest.



Creation Date

April 28, 1990

The Nature of the Computer: A Nontraditional Point of View