Nicholas Constantine Metropolis was born in Chicago, IL
on 11 June 1915 and died in Los Alamos, NM on 17
October 1999. He is most noted for his pioneering
efforts in scientific computing and is the father
of the Metropolis algorithm
, the original and
still widely used algorithm in Monte Carlo simulations
Metropolis received both his B.S. (1936) and Ph.D.
(1941) in chemical physics at the
University of Chicago. His thesis adviser was
Robert S. Mulliken.
In April 1943 Metropolis joined the Manhattan
Project where, with Richard Feynman, he
worked in the computing division. Metropolis
and Stanley Frankel ran the first scientific
computer program on the ENIAC in 1945, a program
involving calculations relevant to the design of
the hydrogen bomb.
The first Monte Carlo program was run on the ENIAC
in 1948, and the method has since found applications
in many, if not all, fields of scientific computation.
The Metropolis Prize in Computational Physics is
awarded by the American Physical Society annually
for the best dissertation in computational science.
Source: Physics Today, October 2000