Joseph Traub

Paper #: 11-05-018

Joseph F. Traub is the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and External Professor, Santa Fe Institute He is the author or editor of ten monographs and some 120 papers in computer science, mathematics, physics, finance, and economics. In 1959 he began his work on optimal iteration theory culminating in the 1964 monograph which is still in print. Subsequently he pioneered work with Henryk Wozniakowski on optimal algorithms and computational complexity applied to continuous scientific problems (information-based complexity). He collaborated in creating significant new algorithms including the Jenkins-Traub algorithm for polynomial zeros, as well as the Kung-Traub, Shaw-Traub, and Brent-Traub algorithms. One of his current research areas is quantum computing. From 1971 to 1979 he headed the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University and led it from a critical period to eminence (see Joseph Traub digital archive at CMU From 1979 to 1989, he was the founding chair of the computer science department at Columbia University. From 1986 to 1992 he served as founding chair of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Academies, and served as chair again 2005 – 2009. Traub was founding editor-in-chief, Journal of Complexity, in 1985, and continues in that capacity. His numerous honors include election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1985, the 1991 Emanuel R. Piore Gold Medal from IEEE, and the 1992 Distinguished Service Award from the Computer Research Association (CRA). He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). He has been Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, and received a Senior Scientist Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He was selected by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome to present the 1993 Lezione Lincee, a cycle of six lectures. Traub received the 1999 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology. The award was presented by Mayor Rudy Giuliani at a ceremony in New York City. In 2001 he received an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Central Florida.