Welcome to Maths 7th April 2020
In this historical feature we explore Cornelius Lanczos (1893-1974) and his influential work.
Cornelius Lanczos discovered an exact solution to the Einstein field equation. It is one of the simplest known exact solutions in general relativity and is regarded as an important example. Watch him talk about mathematics, his work with Albert Einstein and his fascinating, restless life during his 1972 visit to UMIST.
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.