hamming (See ham)

# Dictionary Definition

### Noun

2 (Old Testament) son of Noah

3 a licensed amateur radio operator

4 an unskilled actor who overacts [syn: ham actor] v :
exaggerate one's acting [syn: overact, ham it up,
overplay] [ant:
underact] [also:
hamming, hammed]hamming n : poor acting by
a ham actor [syn: overacting]

# Extensive Definition

Richard Wesley Hamming (Chicago, February 11,
1915
– Monterey,
California, January 7,
1998) was an
American
mathematician
whose work had many implications for computer
science and telecommunications.
His contributions include the Hamming code
(which makes use of a Hamming
matrix), the
Hamming window (described in Section 5.8 of his book Digital
Filters), Hamming
numbers, Sphere-packing
(or hamming
bound) and the Hamming
distance.

He received his bachelor's degree from the
University
of Chicago in 1937, a master's degree from the University
of Nebraska in 1939, and finally a Ph.D.
from the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1942. He was a
professor at the University
of Louisville during World War
II, and left to work on the Manhattan
Project in 1945, programming one
of the earliest electronic digital computers to calculate the
solution to equations provided by the project's physicists. The
objective of the program was to discover if the detonation of an
atomic
bomb would ignite the atmosphere.
The result of the computation was that this would not occur, and so
the United
States used the bomb, first in a test in New Mexico,
and then twice against Japan.

Later, between 1946-1976 he worked at the
Bell
Telephone Laboratories, where he collaborated with Claude E.
Shannon. On July 23 1976 he moved to the
Naval
Postgraduate School, where he worked as an Adjunct
Professor until 1997, when he became Professor
Emeritus.

He was a founder and president of the
Association for Computing Machinery.

## Awards and professional recognition

- Turing Award, Association for Computing Machinery, 1968.
- Fellow of the IEEE, 1968.
- IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award, 1979.
- Member of the National Academy of Engineering, 1980.
- Harold Pender Award, University of Pennsylvania, 1981.
- IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal, 1988.
- Fellow of the ACM, 1994.
- Eduard Rhein Award, 1996.

The Richard
W. Hamming Medal is an award given annually by IEEE for
'exceptional contributions to information sciences, systems and
technology'.

## See also

## Books

- Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers, McGraw-Hill, 1962; second edition 1973. Dover paperback reprint 1985.
- Calculus and the Computer Revolution, Houghton-Mifflin, 1968.
- Introduction To Applied Numerical Analysis, McGraw-Hill, 1971.
- Computers and Society, McGraw-Hill, 1972.
- Digital Filters, Prentice Hall, 1977; second edition 1983; third edition 1989. ISBN 0-486-65088-X Dover paperback reprint, ca. 2001.
- Coding and Information Theory, Prentice Hall 1980; second edition 1986.
- Methods of Mathematics Applied to Calculus, Probability, and Statistics, Prentice Hall, 1985. Dover paperback reprint, ca. 2005. Unconventional introductory textbook which attempts to both teach calculus and give some idea of what it is good for at the same time. Might be of special interest to someone teaching an introductory calculus course using a conventional textbook, in order to pick up some new pedagogical viewpoints.
- The Art of Probability for Scientists and Engineers, Addison-Wesley, 1991.
- The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn, Gordon and Breach, 1997. Entertaining and instructive. Hamming tries to extract general lessons -- both personal and technical -- to aid one in having a successful technical career by telling stories from his own experiences. (Some of this material relating to the self-management of one's technical career can be found online at the You and Your Research link; see below.) One of Hamming's lessons is never trust without question someone who claims to be giving you highly accurate data to analyze -- not because they're deliberately lying to you but because the data is never as accurate as people think.

## Quotes

- Machines should work. People should think.
- ''Does anyone believe that the difference between the Lebesgue and Riemann integrals can have physical significance, and that whether say, an airplane would or would not fly could depend on this difference? If such were claimed, I should not care to fly in that plane.
- There are wavelengths that people cannot see, there are sounds that people cannot hear, and maybe computers have thoughts that people cannot think. (The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics)
- The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.
- Newton said, "If I have seen further than others, it is because I've stood on the shoulders of giants." These days we stand on each other's feet!'' (You and Your Research)
- What are the most important problems in your field? Are you working on one of them? Why not? (Generalization from You and Your Research)
- The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, in my opinion, has ruined more good scientists than any institution has created. (You and Your Research)
- It is better to solve the right problem the wrong way than to solve the wrong problem the right way.
- Beware of finding what you're looking for. http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000966.html
- You cannot have a science without measurement.

## External links and references

- "Richard Hamming." FOLDOC
- "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics," (1980, The American Mathematical Monthly 87)
- "You and Your Research." (1986)

hamming in Bengali: রিচার্ড হ্যামিং

hamming in Danish: Richard W. Hamming

hamming in German: Richard Hamming

hamming in Spanish: Richard Hamming

hamming in French: Richard Hamming

hamming in Korean: 리처드 해밍

hamming in Georgian: რიჩარდ ჰამინგი

hamming in Dutch: Richard Hamming

hamming in Japanese: リチャード・ハミング

hamming in Polish: Richard Hamming

hamming in Portuguese: Richard Hamming

hamming in Serbian: Ричард Хаминг

hamming in Turkish: Richard Hamming

hamming in Chinese: 理查德·衛斯里·漢明