Magnus Hestenes

Magnus Hestenes

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Magnus Rudolph Hestenes was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....

. Together with Cornelius Lanczos
Cornelius Lanczos
Cornelius Lanczos Löwy Kornél was a Hungarian-Jewish mathematician and physicist, who was born on February 2, 1893, and died on June 25, 1974....

 and Eduard Stiefel
Eduard Stiefel
Eduard L. Stiefel was a Swiss mathematician. Together with Cornelius Lanczos and Magnus Hestenes, he invented the conjugate gradient method, and gave what is now understood to be a partial construction of the Stiefel–Whitney classes of a real vector bundle, thus co-founding the study of...

, he invented the conjugate gradient method
Conjugate gradient method
In mathematics, the conjugate gradient method is an algorithm for the numerical solution of particular systems of linear equations, namely those whose matrix is symmetric and positive-definite. The conjugate gradient method is an iterative method, so it can be applied to sparse systems that are too...


Born in Bricelyn, Minnesota
Bricelyn, Minnesota
Bricelyn is a city in Faribault County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 365 at the 2010 census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land.-Demographics:...

, Hestenes earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 in 1932 under Gilbert Bliss. His dissertation was titled "Sufficient Conditions for the General Problem of Mayer with Variable End-Points." After teaching as an associate professor at Chicago, in 1947 he moved to a professorship at UCLA
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

. He continued there until his retirement in 1973, and during that time he served as department chair from 1950-58. While a professor, Hestenes supervised the thesis research of 34 students, among them Glen Culler
Glen Culler
Glen Jacob Culler was a professor of electrical engineering and an important early innovator in the development of the Internet. Culler joined the University of California, Santa Barbara mathematics faculty in 1959 and helped put the campus in the forefront of what would become the field of...

, Richard Tapia and Jesse Wilkins, Jr.
J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr.
Jesse Ernest Wilkins, Jr. was an African American mathematician and nuclear scientist, who gained first fame on entering the University of Chicago at age 13, becoming its youngest ever student...


Hestenes received the Guggenheim
Guggenheim Fellowship
Guggenheim Fellowships are American grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts." Each year, the foundation makes...

 (1954) and Fulbright
Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. Under the...

 awards, was a vice president of the American Mathematical Society
American Mathematical Society
The American Mathematical Society is an association of professional mathematicians dedicated to the interests of mathematical research and scholarship, which it does with various publications and conferences as well as annual monetary awards and prizes to mathematicians.The society is one of the...

, and was an invited speaker at the 1954 International Congress of Mathematicians in Amsterdam.

External links

  • Obituary in the Numerical Analysis Digest