Joan E. Walsh

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Joan Eileen Walsh FIMA (1932–2017) was a British mathematician, a professor of numerical analysis at the University of Manchester, and the founding chair of the Numerical Algorithms Group.[1][2]


Walsh was born on 7 October 1932. She read mathematics at the University of Oxford, where she earned a bachelor's degree with first class honours in 1954. She became a teacher and assistant mistress at Howell's School, Denbigh, but left after three years to study numerical analysis at the University of Cambridge. She earned a diploma from Cambridge in 1958, and returned to Oxford for her doctoral studies. There, she became the first student of Leslie Fox, completing her D.Phil. in 1961.[2] She was also the first student to obtain a doctorate from the Oxford Computing Laboratory, the predecessor to the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford.[3]


After working as a mathematical programmer for the Central Electricity Generating Board,[2] Walsh joined the mathematics staff at the University of Manchester in 1963, and was promoted to professor there in 1974. She was head of the mathematics department at Manchester from 1986 to 1989, and later pro-vice-chancellor of the university. She retired to become a professor emeritus in 1998.[1][2]

Walsh was one of the four founders of the Nottingham Algorithms Group in 1970, and became chair of Numerical Algorithms Group when it was formed from the Nottingham Algorithms Group in 1976.[2]

She became a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 1984.[2]

She died on 30 December 2017.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Joan Walsh (1932 – 2017)", History of Mathematics at Manchester, University of Manchester, retrieved 2018-10-13
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Freeman, Len; Higham, Nick (April 18, 2018), Joan E. Walsh (1932–2017)
  3. ^ A tribute to first doctoral student Joan Walsh, Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, 25 April 2018, retrieved 2018-10-13