Alan Edelman

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Alan Edelman
Edelman in 1999
BornJune 1963 (age 60)
EducationYale University (BS, MS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
Scientific career
ThesisEigenvalues and Condition Numbers of Random Matrices (1989)
Doctoral advisorLloyd N. Trefethen[1]
Doctoral students

Alan Stuart Edelman (born June 1963) is an American mathematician and computer scientist. He is a professor of applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Principal Investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) where he leads a group in applied computing. In 2004, he founded a business called Interactive Supercomputing which was later acquired by Microsoft. Edelman is a fellow of American Mathematical Society (AMS), Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), for his contributions in numerical linear algebra, computational science, parallel computing, and random matrix theory. He is one of the creators of the technical programming language Julia.


Edelman received B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics from Yale University in 1984, and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from MIT in 1989 under the direction of Lloyd N. Trefethen. Following a year at Thinking Machines Corporation, and at CERFACS[2] in France, Edelman went to U.C. Berkeley as a Morrey Assistant Professor and Levy Fellow, 1990–93. He joined the MIT faculty in applied mathematics in 1993.


Edelman's research interests include high-performance computing, numerical computation, linear algebra, and random matrix theory.

  • In random matrix theory, Edelman is known for the Edelman distribution of the smallest singular value of random matrices (also known as Edelman's law[3]), the invention of beta ensembles,[4] and the introduction of the stochastic operator approach,[5] and some of the earliest computational approaches.
  • In high performance computing, Edelman is known for his work on parallel computing, as the co-founder of Interactive Supercomputing, as an inventor of the Julia programming language and for his work on the Future Fast Fourier transform. As the leader of the Julialab, he supervises work on scientific machine learning and compiler methodologies.
  • In numerical linear algebra, Edelman is known for eigenvalues and condition numbers of random matrices, the geometry of algorithms with orthogonality constraints, the geometry of the generalized singular value decomposition (GSVD), and applications of Lie algebra to matrix factorizations.


A Sloan fellow, Edelman received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Career award in 1995. He has received numerous awards, among them the Gordon Bell Prize and Householder Prize (1990), the Chauvenet Prize (1998),[6] the Edgerly Science Partnership Award (1999), the SIAM Activity Group on Linear Algebra Prize (2000), and the Lester R. Ford Award,[7] (2005, with Gilbert Strang).

  • In 2011, Edelman was selected a Fellow of SIAM,[8] "for his contributions in bringing together mathematics and industry in the areas of numerical linear algebra, random matrix theory, and parallel computing."
  • In 2015, he became a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society[9] "for contributions to random matrix theory, numerical linear algebra, high-performance algorithms, and applications."
  • In 2017, he became an IEEE Fellow Class of 2018[10] "for contributions to the development of technical-computing languages."
  • In 2019, he was selected as the winner of Sidney Fernbach Award by IEEE Computer Society[11] "for outstanding breakthroughs in high-performance computing, linear algebra and computational science, and for contributions to the Julia programming language."
  • In 2021, he became an ACM Fellow of Class 2020[12] "for contributions to algorithms and languages for numerical and scientific computing."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alan Edelman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Cerfacs
  3. ^ Rudelson, Mark; Vershynin, Roman (2011). "Non-asymptotic Theory of Random Matrices: Extreme Singular Values". Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians 2010 (ICM 2010). Hindustan Book Agency (HBA), India. World Scientific for All Markets Except in India. pp. 1576–1602. arXiv:1003.2990. doi:10.1142/9789814324359_0111. ISBN 978-981-4324-30-4.
  4. ^ Matrix Models for Beta Ensembles: arXiv:math-ph/0206043
  5. ^ From Random Matrices to Stochastic Operators: arXiv:math-ph/0607038
  6. ^ Edelman, Alan; Kostlan, Eric (1995). "How Many Zeros of a Random Polynomial Are Real?". Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society. New Series. 32: 1–37. arXiv:math/9501224. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1995-00571-9. S2CID 125863468.
  7. ^ Edelman, Alan; Strang, Gilbert (2004). "Pascal matrices". American Mathematical Monthly. 111 (3): 189–197. doi:10.2307/4145127. JSTOR 4145127.
  8. ^ SIAM Fellow Class of 2011:
  9. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society
  10. ^ IEEE Fellow Class of 2018: Archived December 1, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Alan Edelman of MIT Recognized with Prestigious 2019 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award | IEEE Computer Society". October 2, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  12. ^ "2020 ACM Fellows Recognized for Work that Underpins Today's Computing Innovations".