|George Elmer Forsythe|
|Born||January 8, 1917|
|Died||April 9, 1972 (aged 55)|
|Fields||Mathematics, meteorology and computer science|
National Bureau of Standards
|Alma mater||Swarthmore College
|Doctoral advisor||William Feller
|Doctoral students||Richard Brent
J. Alan George
George Elmer Forsythe (January 8, 1917 – April 9, 1972) was the founder and head of Stanford University's Computer Science Department. George came to Stanford in the Mathematics Department in 1959, and served as professor and chairman of the Computer Science department from 1965 until his death. Forsythe served as the president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and also co-authored four books on computer science and a fifth on meteorology, and edited more than 75 other books on computer science.
Forsythe married Alexandra I. Forsythe, who wrote the first published textbook in computer science and actively participated in her husband's work, while promoting a more active role for women than was common at the time. Between 1950 and 1958 both of them programmed using the SWAC at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in Los Angeles and later at UCLA after the western division of NBS was closed due to political pressures (see Oral History cited below). With his wife, Forsythe had a daughter and a son.
According to Donald Knuth, Forsythe's greatest contributions were helping to establish computer science as its own academic discipline and starting the field of refereeing and editing algorithms as scholarly work. Professor Forsythe supervised 17 PhD graduates; many of them went into academic careers. He won a Lester R. Ford Award in 1969 and again in 1971.
Books by Forsythe
- Dynamic Meteorology (with William Gustin and Jörgen Holmboy), John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1945, 375pp.
- Bibliography of Russian Mathematics Books, Chelsea, New York, 1956, 106 pp.
- Numerical analysis and partial differential equations. Contemporary state of numerical analysis, Wiley 1958 (with Paul C. Rosenbloom: Linear partial equations)
- Finite Difference Methods for Partial Differential Equations (with Wolfgang Wasow), John Wiley, New York, 1966, 444pp.
- Computer Solution of Linear Algebraic Systems (with Cleve B. Moler), Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1967, 153 pp.
- Computer methods for mathematical computations (with Michael A. Malcolm and Cleve B. Moler), Prentice-Hall Series in Automatic Computation, Prentice-Hall., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1977. MR0458783 ISBN 0-13-165332-6 This book about numerical methods was partly finished when Forsythe died.
Knuth's 1972 CACM article lists all of Forsythe's published works.
- SIAM: Remembering George Forsythe
- Alexandra I. Forsythe: Computer Science, a First Course; Wiley 1975.
- Jane D. Fairbanks and Helen L. Bryson: Second Careers for Women; Stanford University, 1975.
- Knuth, Donald E. (1972). "George Forsythe and the Development of Computer Science" (PDF). Communications of the ACM. 15 (8): 721–726. doi:10.1145/361532.361538.
- Forsythe, George (1968). "What to do till the computer scientist comes". Amer. Math. Monthly. 75: 454–462. doi:10.2307/2314698.
- Forsythe, George (1970). "Pitfalls in computation, or why a math book isn't enough". Amer. Math. Monthly. 77: 931–956. doi:10.2307/2318109.
- Lax, Peter D. (1959). "Review: Numerical analysis and partial differential equations, by George E. Forsythe and Paul C. Rosenbloom" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 65 (6): 342–343. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1959-10363-3.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: George Forsythe|
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "George Forsythe", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- George Elmer Forsythe at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- George E. Forsythe at DBLP Bibliography Server
- Oral history interview with Alexandra Forsythe, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. Forsythe discusses the career of her husband, George Forsythe, and his founding and early years of the Stanford Computer Science Department.
- Oral history interview with Albert H. Bowker, Charles Babbage Institute. Bowker discusses his role in the formation of the Stanford University computer science department, his hiring of George Forsythe in 1959, and the creation of a Division of Computer Science in 1963
- Oral history interview with John Herriot, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. Discusses the formation and development of the Stanford Computer Science Department, centering on the role of George Forsythe.