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Issue No.04 - October-December (2010 vol.32)
pp: 72-81
Thomas Haigh , University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
ABSTRACT
<p>John Rischard Rice is one of the founders of mathematical software as a distinct scholarly community. Trained in mathematics he spent four decades in Purdue's Department of Computer Sciences. During the 1970s he convened a series of seminal conferences on the topic and established ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software which he edited for many years. Rice led development of the ELLPACK system for solving partial differential equations and helped to establish techniques for the performance evaluation of mathematical software. He has published 21 books.</p>
INDEX TERMS
History of computing, Rice, Purdue University, Ellpack, ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, Computing Research Association, mathematical software
CITATION
Thomas Haigh, "John R. Rice: Mathematical Software Pioneer", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.32, no. 4, pp. 72-81, October-December 2010, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2010.64
REFERENCES
1. J.R. Rice, "Oral History Interview with Thomas Haigh," 2004; http://history.siam.org/pdfs2Rice_returned_SIAM_copy.pdf . Facts in this biography not otherwise attributed are derived from this oral history.
2. J.R. Rice, "The Characterization of Best Nonlinear Tchebycheff Approximations," Trans. Am. Mathematical Soc., vol. 96, no. 2, 1960, pp. 322–340.
3. J.R. Rice, "Split Runge-Kutta methods for simultaneous equations," J. Research of the National Bureau of Standards, vol. 64B, no. 3, 1960, pp. 151–170.
4. The project is mentioned in W. Kahan "In Memoriam: Hirondo Kuki," ACM SIGNUM Newsletter, vol. 7, no. 1, 1972, pp. 8–10. Its records are preserved in the archives of the Nat'l Museum of Am. History.
5. Rice oral history interview, p. 40.
6. J.K. Rice and J.R. Rice, Introduction to Computer Science, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1969. The other author was Rice's father.
7. Rice oral history interview, p. 66.
8. Rice oral history interview, p. 67.
9. The first of these was R.E. Lynch and J.R. Rice, Computers: Their Impact and Use − with Basic Programming, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1975.
10. T. Aird, "Oral History Interview by Thomas Haigh," 3 and 4 June, 2004, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), http://history.siam.orgaird.htm.
11. J.R. Rice, The Approximation of Functions, vol. 1: Linear Theory, Addison Wesley, 1964. A second book explored less well established methods closer to his own research. J.R. Rice, The Approximation of Functions, vol. II: Nonlinear and Multivariate Theory, Addison Wesley, 1969.
12. Rice oral history interview, p. 40.
13. See also S. Rosen and J.R. Rice, "The Origins of Computing and Computer Sciences at Purdue University," Studies in Computer Sciences: In Honor of Samuel D. Conte, R. De Millo, and J.R. Rice eds., Plenum, 1994, pp. 31–44,, and J.R. Rice, and S. Rosen, "History of the Computer Sciences Department of Purdue University," Studies in Computer Sciences: In Honor of Samuel D. Conte, R. De Millo, and J.R. Rice eds., Plenum, 1994, pp. 45–72.
14. J.R. Rice, and S. Rosen, "Computer Sciences at Purdue University—1962 to 2000," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 26, no. 2, 2004, pp. 48–61.
15. Rice oral history interview, p. 72.
16. Rice discussed his own role in more detail in a 1997 oral history interview J.R. Rice, "Oral History Interview by William Aspray," OH 320, 3 October 1997, Charles Babbage Inst., Univ. of Minnesota. This has not been transcribed, but tapes can be ordered.
17. Rice oral history interview, p. 68.
18. See vol. 1, no. 1 of the newsletter (June 1966), accessible via the ACM Digital Library.
19. Rice oral history interview, p. 21.
20. J.R. Rice ed., Mathematical Software, Academic Press, 1971.
21. Rice's, Mathematical Software, pp. xv–xvi.
22. Rice oral history interview, p. 34.
23. R. Boisvert, W. Dyksen, and E. Houstis, "Editorial: Special Issue in Honor of John Rice's 65th Birthday," ACM Trans. Mathematical Software, vol. 26, no. 2, 2000, p. 223.
24. Rice oral history interview, p. 20–24, quotes, p. 23, 24.
25. Rice oral history interview, p. 20.
26. Although the quotations here are from my oral history interview with Rice, he has also told the story (with supporting data) in J.R. Rice, "Mathematical software and ACM publications," A History of Scientific Computing, S. Nash ed., Addison-Wesley, 1990, pp. 217–227.
27. J.J. Dongarra, "Oral History Interview by Thomas Haigh,", 26 April 2004, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, http://history.siam.org/oralhistoriesdongarra.htm . On the Netlib story, see J. Dongarra et al., , "Netlib and NA-Net: Building a Scientific Computing Community," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 30, no. 2, 2008, pp. 30–41.
28. W.J. Cody, "Oral History Interview by Thomas Haigh," 3 and 4 August 2004, Soc. for Industrial and Applied Mathematics http:// history.siam.org/oralhistoriescody.htm .
29. L.D. Fosdick ed., Performance Evaluation of Numerical Software: Proc. IFIP TC 2.5 Working Conf., North-Holland, 1979.
30. J.R. Rice, "Ellpack: A Research Tool for Elliptic Partial Differential Equations Software," Mathematical Software III, J.R. Rice ed., Academic Press, 1977, pp. 319–342. The history of Ellpack is also discussed in W. Cowell ed., , Sources and Development of Mathematical Software, Prentice-Hall, 1984, pp. 231–237.
31. J.R. Rice and R.F. Boisvert, Solving Elliptic Problems Using ELLPACK, Springer-Verlag, 1985.
32. Rice oral history interview, p. 42.
33. Rice oral history interview, p. 44.
34. Matlab originated for instructional use on time-sharing systems around this time, with a specialized command language. T. Haigh, "Cleve Moler: Mathematical Software Pioneer and Creator of Matlab," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 30, no. 1, 2008, pp. 87–91.
35. Rice oral history interview, p. 48.
36. J.R. Rice and R.F. Boisvert, Solving Elliptic Problems Using ELLPACK, Springer-Verlag, 1985.
37. See B.J. Ford and F. Chatelin ed., Problem Solving Environments for Scientific Computing: Proc. IFIP TC2 Wg 2.5 Working Conf. Problem Solving Environments for Scientific Computing, Elsevier Science, 1987.
38. The first of three edited volumes to emerge from these meetings were in E.N. Houstis, J.R. Rice, and R. Vichnevetsky eds., Intelligent Mathematical Software Systems,, North Holland, 1990.
39. J.R. Rice, Numerical Methods, Software and Analysis, McGraw-Hill, 1983.
40. T. Aird "Oral History Interview by Thomas Haigh," p. 56.
41. E. N. Houstis et al., "//ELLPACK: A Numerical Simulation Programming Environment for Parallel MIMD Machines," Proc. 4th Int'l Conf. Supercomputing (ICS 90), ACM Press, 1990, pp. 96–107.
42. Rice oral history interview, p. 60.
43. B.W. Arden, "The Computer Science and Engineering Research Study (COSERS)," Comm. ACM, vol. 19, no. 12, 1976, pp. 670–673.
44. Rice oral history interview, p. 71.
45. R.F. Boisvert and E. Houstis eds., , Computational Science, Mathematics and Software: Proc. International Symp. Computational Science in Celebration of the 65th Birthday of John R. Rice, Purdue Univ. Press, 2002.
46. R.F. Boisvert, "Mathematical Software: Past, Present, and Future," Computational Science, Mathematics and Software, R. Boisvert, and E. Houstis eds., Purdue Univ. Press, 2002, pp. 3–27.
47. Rice oral history interview, p. 75.
48. M.J. Atallah et al., "Secure Outsourcing of Scientific Computations," Advances in Computers, vol. 54: Advances in Software Engineering, M.V. Zelkowitz ed., Academic Press, 2001, pp. 215–272.
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