Department of Mathematics

Address: Mathematics 253-37 | Caltech | Pasadena, CA 91125
Telephone: (626) 395-4335 | Fax: (626) 585-1728

The 8th Annual Charles R. DePrima Memorial
Undergraduate Mathematics Lecture
Tuesday, November 9, 1999
4:15 p.m.  Beckman Institute Auditorium

How Math Might Save Your Life
by Cleve Moler

Abstract: The mathematical techniques underlying MATLAB are being used in a wide range of industrial settings, often by people who are not even aware they are employing mathematics. We will show examples, including safety systems in automobiles, compact disc drives and financial instruments. The mathematical techniques include matrix computation and numerical solution of ordinary differential equations.


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Cleve Moler earned a B.S. in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, also in Mathematics.

Dr. Moler was a professor in Mathematics and in Computer Science for almost twenty years at Michigan, Stanford and New Mexico before joining the computer industry.

Cleve Moler is Chairman and Chief Scientist at The MathWorks, Inc., a Massachusetts company that develops and markets MATLAB. His professional interests center on numerical analysis and mathematical software. In addition to writing the first version of MATLAB, he is a coauthor of the LINPACK and EISPACK scientific subroutine libraries and of three textbooks on numerical methods. He is a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, IEEE Computer Society, and National Academy of Engineering.


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The Charles R. DePrima Memorial Undergraduate Mathematics Lecture was established by a gift from Charles R. DePrima and Margaret Thurmond DePrima. The Institute is privileged to honor the memory of Professor DePrima and his distinguished contribution to mathematics and Caltech, where he served as a faculty member for over forty years, with a lecture each year by an outstanding mathematician. Professor DePrima perceived that there were few or no special talks or seminars designed for undergraduates; he and Margaret DePrima intended that this lecture series would fill that need.