David H. Bailey

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David H. Bailey
David Harold Bailey.jpg
Bailey in 2010
Born David Harold Bailey
1948 (age 68–69)
Fields Computer science
Experimental mathematics
Institutions Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Retired)
Research fellow at UC Davis
Alma mater Brigham Young University
Stanford University
Doctoral advisor Donald Samuel Ornstein
Known for Bailey–Borwein–Plouffe formula
Notable awards Sidney Fernbach Award (1993)
Chauvenet Prize (1993)
Gordon Bell Prize (2008)
Levi L. Conant Prize (2017)

David Harold Bailey (born 1948) is a mathematician and computer scientist. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Brigham Young University in 1972 and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University in 1976.[1] He worked for 14 years as a computer scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, but since 1998 has been at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is now officially retired, but continues as an active researcher. He is also a Research Associate at the University of California, Davis, Department of Computer Science.

Bailey is perhaps best known as a co-author (with Peter Borwein and Simon Plouffe) of a 1997 paper that presented a new formula for π (pi). This Bailey–Borwein–Plouffe formula permits one to calculate binary or hexadecimal digits of pi beginning at an arbitrary position, by means of a simple algorithm. The formula was discovered by Simon Plouffe using a computer program written by Bailey. More recently (2001 and 2002), Bailey and Richard Crandall showed that the existence of this and similar formulas has implications for the long-standing question of "normality" – whether and why the digits of certain mathematical constants (including pi) appear "random" in a particular sense.

Bailey is a long-time collaborator with Jonathan Borwein (Peter's brother). They are co-authors of five books and over 80 technical papers on experimental mathematics.

Bailey also does research in numerical analysis and parallel computing. He has published studies on the fast Fourier transform, high-precision arithmetic, and the PSLQ algorithm (used for integer relation detection). He is a co-author of the NAS Benchmarks, which are used to assess and analyze the performance of parallel scientific computers. He has also published articles in the area of mathematical finance, including a 2014 paper "Pseudo-mathematics and financial charlatanism," which emphasizes the dangers of statistical overfitting and other abuses of mathematics in the financial field.

In 1993, Bailey received the Sidney Fernbach award from the IEEE Computer Society, as well as the Chauvenet Prize[2] and the Hasse Prize from the Mathematical Association of America. In 2005 he was a finalist for the $100,000 Edge of Computation Science Prize. In 2008 he was a co-recipient of the Gordon Bell Prize from the Association for Computing Machinery. In 2017 he was a co-recipient of the Levi L. Conant Prize from the American Mathematical Society.

In addition to Bailey's technical work in mathematics, computer science, Bailey has written articles on science and religion, emphasizing the pointlessness of war between science and religion. Bailey is the editor of the Science Meets Religion website, a repository of articles and information on issues at the juncture of science and religion.

Selected works[edit]

  • with Robert F. Lucas, Samuel Williams (eds.): Performance tuning of scientific applications. Chapman & Hall/CRC Computational Science Series, CRC Press 2010, ISBN 9781439815694.
  • with Jonathan Borwein, Neil Calkin, Roland Girgensohn, D. Russell Luke, Victor Moll: Experimental mathematics in action, A. K. Peters 2007
  • with Michał Misiurewicz: "A strong hot spot theorem". Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 134 (9): 2495–2501. 2006. MR 2213726. doi:10.1090/s0002-9939-06-08551-0. 
  • with Jonathan Borwein, Marcos Lopez de Prado and Qiji Jim Zhu: "Pseudo-mathematics and financial charlatanism: The effects of backtest overfitting on out-of-sample performance". Notices of the AMS. 61 (5): 458–471. 2014. doi:10.1090/noti1105. 
  • with Jonathan Borwein, Roland Girgensohn: Experimentation in mathematics: Computational paths to discovery, A. K. Peters 2004
  • with Jonathan Borwein: Mathematics by experiment: Plausible reasoning in the 21st century, A. K. Peters 2004, 2008 (with accompanying CD Experiments in Mathematics, 2006)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David H. Bailey at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Bailey, David H.; Borwein, Jonathan M.; Borwein, Peter B. (1989). "Ramanujan, Modular Equations, and Approximations to Pi, or, How to Compute One Billion Digits of Pi". Amer. Math. Monthly. 96: 201–219. doi:10.2307/2325206. 

External links[edit]