Peter Henrici (mathematician)

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Peter Karl Henrici
Peter Henrici.jpg
Peter Henrici (middle), Washington D.C. 1953
Born(1923-09-13)13 September 1923
Died13 March 1987(1987-03-13) (aged 63)
Nationality Switzerland
Alma mater ETH Zürich
Known for Numerical analysis
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of California, Los Angeles; ETH Zürich; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Doctoral advisor Eduard Stiefel
Doctoral students Gilbert Strang, William B. Gragg

Peter Karl Henrici (13 September 1923 – 13 March 1987) was a Swiss mathematician best known for his contributions to the field of numerical analysis.

Switzerland Federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi), and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.

Mathematician person with an extensive knowledge of mathematics

A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in his or her work, typically to solve mathematical problems.

Numerical analysis study of algorithms that use numerical approximation for the problems of mathematical analysis

Numerical analysis is the study of algorithms that use numerical approximation for the problems of mathematical analysis. Numerical analysis naturally finds application in all fields of engineering and the physical sciences, but in the 21st century also the life sciences, social sciences, medicine, business and even the arts have adopted elements of scientific computations. The growth in computing power has revolutionized the use of realistic mathematical models in science and engineering, and subtle numerical analysis is required to implement these detailed models of the world. For example, ordinary differential equations appear in celestial mechanics ; numerical linear algebra is important for data analysis; stochastic differential equations and Markov chains are essential in simulating living cells for medicine and biology.



Henrici was born in Basel and studied law for two years at University of Basel. After World War II he transferred to ETH Zürich where he received a diploma in electrical engineering (1948) and a doctorate in mathematics with Eduard Stiefel as his advisor (1952).

Basel Place in Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

Basel or Basle is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants.

University of Basel university in Basel, Switzerland

The University of Basel is located in Basel, Switzerland. Founded on 4 April 1460, it is Switzerland's oldest university and among the world's oldest surviving universities. The university is traditionally counted among the leading institutions of higher learning in the country.

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Moving to the USA

In 1951 he moved to the United States and worked on a joint contract with American University and the National Bureau of Standards. Then, from 1956 to 1962, he taught at University of California, Los Angeles where he became a professor. In 1962 he returned to ETH Zürich as a professor, a position he kept for the rest of his life, though he also held a part-time appointment as William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1985. [1] [2]

American University private liberal arts and research-based university in Washington, D.C.

The American University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. Its main campus spans 90 acres at the former site of Fort Gaines on Ward Circle, in the Spring Valley neighborhood in the northwest of the District. AU was chartered by an Act of Congress in 1893 at the urging of Methodist bishop John Fletcher Hurst, who sought to create an institution that would promote public service, internationalism, and pragmatic idealism. AU broke ground in 1902, opened in 1914, and admitted its first undergraduates in 1925. Although affiliated with the United Methodist Church, religious affiliation is not a criterion for admission.

University of California, Los Angeles Public research university in Los Angeles, California

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a public research university in Los Angeles. It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the fourth-oldest of the 10-campus University of California system. It offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. UCLA enrolls about 31,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students and had 119,000 applicants for Fall 2016, including transfer applicants, making the school the most applied-to of any American university.

Professor Academic title at universities and other education and research institutions

Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.

Numerical Analyst

An internationally recognized numerical analyst, who published 11 books and more than 80 research papers, Henrici was also a gifted pianist and a highly regarded teacher. [1] He was an editor of a number of scientific journals, including Numerische Mathematik and Zeitschrift für Angewandte Mathematik und Physik . In 1962, he was a speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians, and in 1978 he gave the SIAM John von Neumann Lecture. [2]

<i>Numerische Mathematik</i> peer-reviewed mathematics journal on numerical analysis established in 1959

Numerische Mathematik is a peer-reviewed mathematics journal on numerical analysis. It was established in 1959 and is published by Springer Science+Business Media. The journal is indexed by Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt MATH. Its 2009 MCQ was 1.06, and its 2016 impact factor was 2.152.

The Zeitschrift für Angewandte Mathematik und Physik is a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Birkhäuser Verlag. The editor-in-chief is Kaspar Nipp. It was established in 1950 and covers the fields of fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, differential equations/applied mathematics, and related topics. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2017 impact factor of 1.711.

The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is the largest conference for the topic of mathematics. It meets once every four years, hosted by the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

Peter Henrici Prize

Every four years since 1999, the Peter Henrici Prize is awarded by ETH Zürich and SIAM for "original contributions to applied analysis and numerical analysis and/or for exposition appropriate for applied mathematics and scientific computing". [3]


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