Lloyd N. Trefethen

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Nick Trefethen
Native name Lloyd Nicholas Trefethen
Born (1955-08-30) 30 August 1955 (age 59)[1]
Fields Numerical analysis
Alma mater
Thesis Wave Propagation and Stability for Finite Difference Schemes (1982)
Doctoral advisor Joseph E. Oliger[2]
Doctoral students
  • Jeffrey Baggett
  • Richard Baltensperger
  • Lehel Banjai
  • Timo Betcke
  • Tobin Driscoll
  • Alan Edelman
  • Nick Hale
  • Louis Howell
  • Walter Mascarenhas
  • Noel Nachtigal
  • Ricardo Pachon
  • Satish Reddy
  • Thomas Schmelzer
  • Kim Toh
  • Divakar Viswanath
  • Thomas Wright[2]
Known for Embree–Trefethen constant[3]
Notable awards
  • Anne Trefethen (d. 2008)
  • Kate McLoughlin
Children one son, one daughter[1]

Lloyd Nicholas "Nick" Trefethen, FRS (born 30 August 1955) is professor of numerical analysis and head of the Numerical Analysis Group at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford.[6][7][8][9][10]


Trefethen obtained his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1977 and his master's from Stanford University in 1980. His PhD was entitled Wave Propagation and Stability for Finite Difference Schemes supervised by Joseph E. Oliger at Stanford University.[2][5][11]


Following his PhD, Trefethen went on to work at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in New York, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Cornell University, before being appointed to a chair at the University of Oxford and a Fellowship of Balliol College.[12]

As of 2009, he has published around 125 journal papers spanning a wide range of areas within numerical analysis and applied mathematics, including non-normal eigenvalue problems and applications, spectral methods for differential equations, numerical linear algebra, fluid mechanics, computational complex analysis, and approximation theory.[13] He is perhaps best known for his work on pseudospectra of non-normal matrices and operators. This work covers theoretical aspects as well as numerical algorithms, and applications including fluid mechanics, numerical solution of partial differential equations, numerical linear algebra, shuffling of cards, random matrices, differential equations and lasers. Trefethen is currently an ISI highly cited researcher.[14]

Trefethen has written a number of books on numerical analysis including Numerical Linear Algebra[15] with David Bau, Spectral Methods in MATLAB, Schwarz–Christoffel Mapping with Tobin Driscoll, and Spectra and Pseudospectra: The Behavior of Nonnormal Matrices and Operators[16] with Mark Embree.[3] He has recently been heavily involved in the creation and development of the MATLAB-based Chebfun software project.

Trefethen was the first winner of the Leslie Fox Prize for Numerical Analysis, and as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Society[4] and of the American Mathematical Society,[17] he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering in the United States.

Notable publications[edit]

  • Numerical Linear Algebra (1997) with David Bau
  • Spectral Methods in Matlab (2000)
  • "Hydrodynamic stability without eigenvalues" [18] with Anne Trefethen, Satish Reddy, and Tobin Driscoll
  • "Pseudospectra of linear operators" SIAM Review (1997)

Awards and honours[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Trefethen has two children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "TREFETHEN, Prof. Lloyd Nicholas, (Nick)". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Lloyd N. Trefethen at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ a b Embree, M.; Trefethen, L. N. (1999). "Growth and decay of random Fibonacci sequences" (PDF). Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 455 (1987): 2471. Bibcode:1999RSPSA.455.2471T. doi:10.1098/rspa.1999.0412. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Library and Archive Catalogue Trefethen, Lloyd Nicholas, EC/2005/40". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2014-01-22. 
  5. ^ a b Trefethen, Lloyd Nicholas (1982). Wave Propagation and Stability for Finite Difference Schemes (PhD thesis). Stanford University. 
  6. ^ Lloyd N. Trefethen's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier.
  7. ^ Lloyd N. Trefethen's publications indexed by Google Scholar, a free service provided by Google
  8. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  9. ^ Lloyd N. Trefethen's publications indexed by the DBLP Bibliography Server at the University of Trier
  10. ^ Nachtigal, N. L. M.; Reddy, S. C.; Trefethen, L. N. (1992). "How Fast are Nonsymmetric Matrix Iterations?". SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications 13 (3): 778. doi:10.1137/0613049. 
  11. ^ Lloyd N. Trefethen from the ACM Portal
  12. ^ "SNC '07 Invited Speakers". Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  13. ^ "Nick Trefethen publication list". 
  14. ^ "T – Research Analytics – Thomson Reuters". Highlycited.com. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  15. ^ Stewart, G. W. (1999). "Review: Numerical linear algebra, by L. N. Trefethen and D. Bau". Math. Comp. 68: 453–454. doi:10.1090/S0025-5718-99-01069-8. 
  16. ^ Higham, Nicholas J. (2007). "Review: Spectra and pseudospectra: the behavior of nonnormal matrices and operators, by L. N. Trefethen and M. Embree". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc (N.S.) 44 (2): 277–284. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-06-01128-1. 
  17. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-08-27.
  18. ^ Trefethen, L. N.; Trefethen, A. E.; Reddy, S. C.; Driscoll, T. A. (1993). "Hydrodynamic Stability Without Eigenvalues". Science 261 (5121): 578–584. doi:10.1126/science.261.5121.578. PMID 17758167. 
  19. ^ "List of LMS prize winners". London Mathematical Society. Retrieved 25 November 2014.