History of Numerical Analysis


Oral Histories





Anthony Ralston

Oral History (pdf)

Interviewers: Bernard de Neumann and William Aspray

Anthony Ralston received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956 under the direction of M. Eric Reissner. As a graduate student, he worked for Ferranti (an electrical engineering company in England famous for developing the second commercial computer – the Ferranti Mark I). He joined the American Cyanamid Company after his PhD. He subsequently took a faculty position at Stevens Institute of Technology, and then joined the faculty of the State University of New York at Buffalo where he held the position of Director of the Computing Center and Professor of Mathematics. In this interview, Ralston discusses his work in numerical analysis, computer science, discrete mathematics and mathematics education. He talks about the books he wrote or edited in all of these subjects and his experiences as an officer of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). 

Key words: numerical analysis, mathematical methods for digital computers, computer science, discrete mathematics, combinatorics, mathematics education

Time frame:  1960’s, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's

People: Arthur Stroud, Gabor Herman, Philip Rabinowitz, George Forsythe, Herbert Wilf, Steven Maurer, Gail Young, Harry Huskey, Ervand G. Kogbetliantz

Locations: Stevens Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Buffalo

Citation: Anthony Ralston, Oral history interview by Bernard de Neumann and William Aspray, 10 January, 2006, London. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia, PA

Statement of Use Policy: Copyright © by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Use of this the material for research purposes is allowed. Any such use should cite the SIAM History of Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing Project (http://history.siam.org).  Use of the oral history materials for commercial purposes requires the written permission of SIAM. Contact [email protected] for permissions.


Copyright ©, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
3600 University City Science Center | Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
Phone: +1-215-382-9800 | FAX: +1-215-386-7999
site map | [email protected]

This project is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Energy.