Michael J. D. Powell
Michael James David Powell|
July 29, 1936
|Died||April 19, 2015(aged 78)|
Frensham Heights School|
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge (BA, ScD)|
|Awards||Naylor Prize and Lectureship|
|Institutions||University of Cambridge|
Michael James David Powell FRS FAA (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.
Education and early life
Born in London, Powell was educated at Frensham Heights School and Eastbourne College. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree[when?] followed by a Doctor of Science (DSc) degree in 1979 at the University of Cambridge.
Career and research
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. 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. 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 and of several books, most notably Approximation Theory and Methods. His former doctoral students include Philippe Toint, Ya-xiang Yuan and Ioannis Demetriou.
Awards and honours
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.
He died on 19 April 2015.
- 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.
- Michael J. D. Powell at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Michael J. D. Powell publications indexed by Google Scholar
- ICNAAO 2016 (August 5--7, 2016, Beijing), a memorial conference organized by Professor Ya-xiang Yuan
- A memorial site set up by Dr. Dominique Orban
- A memorial page set up by an academic grandchild of Powell
- An Interview with M. J. D. Powell by Luís Nunes Vicente, 14 June 2003
- "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
- Approximation Theory and Methods, ISBN 978-0521295147.
- 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.
- An Interview with M. J. D. Powell by Xiaoling Sun, 2006
- Citation for winning the Catherine Richards Prize
- Optimization software by Professor M. J. D. Powell at CCPForge
- A repository of M.J.D. Powell's software
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