James Demmel

James Weldon Demmel Jr. (born October 19, 1955) is an American mathematician and computer scientist, the Dr. Richard Carl Dehmel Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley.[1]

James Demmel
James Weldon Demmel Jr.

(1955-10-19) October 19, 1955
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology (B.S.,1975)
University of California, Berkeley (PhD.,1983)
Known forLAPACK
Spouse(s)Katherine Yelick
AwardsACM Fellow (1999)
Scientific career
computer scientist
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
ThesisA Numerical Analyst's Jordan Canonical Form (1983)
Doctoral advisorWilliam Kahan
Doctoral studentsSherry Li


Born in Pittsburgh,[2] Demmel did his undergraduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, graduating in 1975 with a B.S. in mathematics.[3][4] He earned his Ph.D. in computer science in 1983 from UC Berkeley, under the supervision of William Kahan; his dissertation was entitled A Numerical Analyst's Jordan Canonical Form.[5] After holding a faculty position at New York University for six years, he moved to Berkeley in 1990.[3][4]

Academic Works

Demmel is known for his work on LAPACK, a software library for numerical linear algebra[3][6] and more generally for research in numerical algorithms combining mathematical rigor with high performance implementation.[1] Prometheus, a parallel multigrid finite element solver written by Demmel, Mark Adams, and Robert Taylor, won the Carl Benz Award at Supercomputing 1999 and the Gordon Bell Prize for Adams and his coworkers at Supercomputing 2004.[7]

Honors and awards

Demmel was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1999,[6] a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1999, a fellow of the IEEE in 2001, a fellow of SIAM in 2009, and a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2011.[1][8] Demmel was one of two scientists honored in 1986 with the Leslie Fox Prize for Numerical Analysis.[6][9] In 1993, Demmel won the J.H. Wilkinson Prize in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing,[1][6] and in 2010, he was the winner of the IEEE's Sidney Fernbach Award "for computational science leadership in creating adaptive, innovative, high-performance linear algebra software".[3][4] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[10] He received the IEEE Computer Society Charles Babbage Award in 2013.

Personal life

Demmel is married to Katherine Yelick, who is also an ACM Fellow and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley,[11] and Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.[12]


  1. Bashor, Jon (2011-05-03). "Berkeley's James Demmel Elected to National Academy of Sciences". Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  2. "James W. Demmel". The Complete Marquis Who's Who Biographies. 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2019 via Nexis Uni.
  3. UC Berkeley Professor James Demmel Receives 2010 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award, HPCwire, September 30, 2010.
  4. James W. Demmel, 2010 Sidney Fernbach Award Recipient, IEEE Computer Society, retrieved 2011-05-04.
  5. James Weldon Demmel at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
  6. NAE Elects New Members, SIAM, May 22, 1999.
  7. Supercomputing 2004 Awards, retrieved 2011-05-04.
  8. Members and Foreign Associates Elected Archived 2011-05-07 at the Wayback Machine, National Academy of Sciences, May 3, 2011.
  9. Past prizewinners Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, 13th Leslie Fox Prize for Numerical Analysis, June 22, 2007.
  10. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-11-10.
  11. Wong, Patty (February 14, 2002), "Faculty Couples Keep Love Alive at Work", The Daily Californian.
  12. , Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, retrieved 2014-10-13.
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