James Mercer (mathematician)
He was educated at University of Manchester, and then University of Cambridge. He became a Fellow, saw active service at the Battle of Jutland in World War I and, after decades of ill health, died in London.
He proved Mercer's theorem, which states that positive-definite kernels can be expressed as a dot product in a high-dimensional space. This theorem is the basis of the kernel trick (applied by Aizerman), which allows linear algorithms to be easily converted into non-linear algorithms.
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