Michael J. D. Powell

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Michael Powell
FRS FAA
Born Michael James David Powell
(1936-07-29)July 29, 1936
London
Died April 19, 2015(2015-04-19) (aged 78)[1]
Education Frensham Heights School
Eastbourne College
Alma mater University of Cambridge (BA, ScD)[2]
Known for Powell's method
Davidon–Fletcher–Powell formula
Awards Naylor Prize and Lectureship
Scientific career
Fields Numerical analysis
Optimization
Approximation[3]
Institutions University of Cambridge
Website michaeljdpowell.blogspot.co.uk

Michael James David Powell FRS FAA[1] (29 July 1936 – 19 April 2015) was a British mathematician, who worked in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) at the University of Cambridge.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Education and early life[edit]

Born in London, Powell was educated at Frensham Heights School and Eastbourne College.[1] He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree[when?] followed by a Doctor of Science (DSc) degree in 1979 at the University of Cambridge.[8]

Career and research[edit]

Powell was known for his extensive work in numerical analysis, especially nonlinear optimization and approximation. He was a founding member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and a founding Managing Editor of the Journal for Numerical Analysis.[citation needed] His mathematical contributions include quasi-Newton methods, particularly the Davidon-Fletcher-Powell formula and the Powell's Symmetric Broyden formula, augmented Lagrangian function (also called Powell-Rockafellar penalty function), sequential quadratic programming method (also called as Wilson-Han-Powell method), trust region algorithms, conjugate direction method (also called Powell's method), and radial basis function.[citation needed] He had been working on derivative-free optimization algorithms in recent years, the resultant algorithms including COBYLA, UOBYQA, NEWUOA, BOBYQA, and LINCOA. He was the author of numerous scientific papers[3] and of several books, most notably Approximation Theory and Methods.[9] His former doctoral students include Philippe Toint, Ya-xiang Yuan and Ioannis Demetriou.[2][10]

Awards and honours[edit]

Powell won several awards, including the George B. Dantzig Prize from the Mathematical Programming Society/Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and the Naylor Prize from the London Mathematical Society.[when?] Powell was elected as a Foreign Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2001 and as a Corresponding Fellow to the Australian Academy of Science in 2007.[8][11][12][13][14]

Personal life[edit]

He died on 19 April 2015.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Buhmann, Martin D.; Fletcher, Roger; Iserles, Arieh; Toint, Philippe (2018). "Michael J. D. Powell. 29 July 1936—19 April 2015". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. London: Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2017.0023. ISSN 0080-4606. 
  2. ^ a b c Michael J. D. Powell at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ a b c Michael J. D. Powell publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ ICNAAO 2016 (August 5--7, 2016, Beijing), a memorial conference organized by Professor Ya-xiang Yuan
  5. ^ A memorial site set up by Dr. Dominique Orban
  6. ^ A memorial page set up by an academic grandchild of Powell
  7. ^ An Interview with M. J. D. Powell by Luís Nunes Vicente, 14 June 2003
  8. ^ a b "Powell in Oral History of SIAM". SIAM. 6 April 2005.  see also An Interview with M. J. D. Powell by Philip J. Davis, 6 April 2005
  9. ^ Approximation Theory and Methods, ISBN 978-0521295147.
  10. ^ Demetriou, Ioannis Constantine (1985). Data smoothing by piecewise monotonic divided differences. lib.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 611416076. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.354670. 
  11. ^ An Interview with M. J. D. Powell by Xiaoling Sun, 2006
  12. ^ Citation for winning the Catherine Richards Prize
  13. ^ Optimization software by Professor M. J. D. Powell at CCPForge
  14. ^ A repository of M.J.D. Powell's software