Alan Edelman

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Alan Edelman
Alan Edelman 1999 (headshot).jpg
Edelman in 1999
BornJune 1963 (1963-06) (age 57)
Brooklyn, New York
Alma materMIT, Yale University
Known for
Scientific career
Computer Science
ThesisEigenvalues and Condition Numbers of Random Matrices (1989)
Doctoral advisorLloyd N. Trefethen[3]
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 and a Principal Investigator at the MIT Computer Science and AI Laboratory (CSAIL) where he leads a group in Applied Computing. In 2004 he founded Interactive Supercomputing, which was later acquired by Microsoft. Edelman is a fellow of AMS, SIAM, IEEE, and ACM for his contributions in numerical linear algebra, computational science, parallel computing and random matrix theory, and he is one of the co-creators for the technical computing language Julia.


An alumnus of Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics, Edelman received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics from Yale University in 1984, and the Ph.D. in applied mathematics from MIT in 1989 under the direction of Lloyd N. Trefethen. Following a year at Thinking Machines Corp and at CERFACS[4] 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 stochastic eigenanalysis (random matrix theory).

  • In random matrix theory, Edelman is most famous for the Edelman distribution of the smallest singular value of random matrices (also known as Edelman's law[5]), the invention of beta ensembles,[6] and the introduction of the stochastic operator approach.[7]
  • 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.


A Sloan fellow, Edelman received an 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),[8] the Edgerly Science Partnership Award (1999), the SIAM Activity Group on Linear Algebra Prize (2000), and the Lester R. Ford Award,[9] (2005, with Gilbert Strang).

  • In 2011, Edelman was selected a Fellow of SIAM,[10] "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[11] "for contributions to random matrix theory, numerical linear algebra, high-performance algorithms, and applications."
  • In 2017, he became an IEEE Fellow Class of 2018[12] "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[13] "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[14] "for contributions to algorithms and languages for numerical and scientific computing."

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ From Random Matrices to Stochastic Operators: arXiv:math-ph/0607038
  3. ^ Alan Edelman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ Cerfacs
  5. ^
  6. ^ Matrix Models for Beta Ensembles: arXiv:math-ph/0206043
  7. ^ From Random Matrices to Stochastic Operators: arXiv:math-ph/0607038
  8. ^ Edelman, Alan; Kostlan, Eric (1995). "How Many Zeros of a Random Polynomial Are Real?". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 32: 1–37. arXiv:math/9501224. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1995-00571-9. S2CID 125863468.
  9. ^ Edelman, Alan; Strang, Gilbert (2004). "Pascal matrices". Amer. Math. Monthly. 111 (3): 189–197. doi:10.2307/4145127. JSTOR 4145127.
  10. ^ SIAM Fellow Class of 2011:
  11. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society
  12. ^ IEEE Fellow Class of 2018: Archived December 1, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Alan Edelman of MIT Recognized with Prestigious 2019 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award | IEEE Computer Society". Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  14. ^