History of Numerical Analysis


Oral Histories





Philip Wolfe

Link:  http://invention.smithsonian.org/downloads/fa_cohc_tr_wolf721128.pdf

Philip Wolfe received his bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1954, he went to Princeton University as an instructor, where he worked on quadratic programming and was introduced to digital computing at the Institute for Advanced Study. In 1957, he took a job at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. He discusses his work at RAND with George Dantzig on computing in linear programming problems, remarking that he loved programming the JOHNNIAC. It was he who introduced FORTRAN to RAND, overcoming initial skepticism. He notes that IBM's SHARE organization, its meetings and its library played an important role in distribution of software. He speculates that it may have had a role in the growth of IBM. In 1965, he left RAND for IBM. 

Key words: linear programming, quadratic programming, traveling salesman problem, simplex method, SHARE, JOHNNIAC, IBM 701, IBM 704, FORTRAN

Funding agency:  U. S. Air Force

Time frame: 1940's, 1950's, 1960's

People:  George Dantzig, John von Neumann, Bill Orchard-Hayes, Leola Cutler

Locations: University of California-Berkeley, Princeton University, RAND Corporation, IBM Research - Zurich, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Copyright: Computer Oral History Center, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation http://Invention.Smithsonian.Org/Resources/Fa_Comporalhist_Index.Aspx
Smithsonian National Museum of American History


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