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Cornelius Lanczos (1893–1974)

Cornelius Lanczos We are delighted to make available online a series of video tapes produced in 1972. These historic tapes show Cornelius Lanczos talking about his fascinating and restless life as (among other things) student of Eötvös and Fejér in Hungary, theoretical physicist, assistant of Albert Einstein in Germany, numerical analyst and inventor of the tau method, (re-)discoverer of the fast Fourier transform and singular value decomposition, inventor of the Lanczos algorithm while working at the US National Bureau of Standards, and head of the Theoretical Physics Department at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Study.

In the last years of his long life Lanczos gave excellent lectures at UMIST (a predecessor institution of The University of Manchester), and apparently it was Ronald Butler who initiated the recording of these video tapes. The first tape (55 minutes) is devoted to Lanczos' views on mathematics and his contributions to numerical analysis. The second tape (45 minutes) is autobiographical, and the third tape (54 minutes) contains a discussion about the life and work of Albert Einstein.

Tape 1: Lanczos about Mathematics Tape 2: Lanczos about his life Tape 3: About Albert Einstein
Pure and Applied Mathematics
Approximation theory, Otto Szász,
and Chebyshev polynomials

Economization of power series
and the Lanczos tau method

National Bureau of Standards
Singular matrices and the SVD
Boeing and the Lanczos algorithm
Importance of Fourier analysis
Gauss and hypergeometric series
How to lecture and write books
Lanczos' favourite mathematicians
The right mathematical notation
History of mathematics, education,
and deep understanding

Click here to read Cornelius Lanczos' biography on Wikipedia