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