Brief biography

Nick Higham is Royal Society Research Professor and Richardson Professor of Applied Mathematics in the School of Mathematics, University of Manchester. His degrees (PhD 1985, MSc 1983, BA 1982) are from the University of Manchester, and he has held visiting positions at Cornell University and the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, University of Minnesota. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007 and was awarded a Royal Society Research Professorship in 2018. He is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), a Fellow of the ACM, and a Member of Academia Europaea. He held a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award (2003–2008).

He is well known for his research on the accuracy and stability of numerical algorithms, and the second edition of his 700-page monograph on this topic was published by SIAM in 2002. His most recent monograph, Functions of Matrices: Theory and Computation (SIAM, 2008), is the first book devoted to this topic. He is the Editor of the Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics (2015, over 1000 pages).

He has more than 160 refereed publications on topics such as rounding error analysis, linear systems, least squares problems, matrix functions and nonlinear matrix equations, condition number estimation, and polynomial eigenvalue problems. His research has been supported by grants from EPSRC and by fellowships from the Nuffield Foundation, the Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust. He held a 2M euro ERC Advanced Grant (2011–2016) supporting his research on matrix functions.

He was President of SIAM (2017–2018), and was Vice President at Large (2010–2013) and served for over ten years on the SIAM Board of Trustees and the SIAM Council. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the International Linear Algebra Society, and as Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on Linear Algebra. He is a frequent invited speaker at international conferences, notably at the 9th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM 2019), Valencia, Spain.

Higham is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Acta Numerica, Forum of Mathematics, Foundations of Computational Mathematics. IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, and Peer J Computer Science. He is also (Founding) Editor-in-Chief of the SIAM Fundamentals of Algorithms book series.

Higham has contributed software to LAPACK and the NAG library, and has written numerous M-files included in MATLAB. His algorithms are also included in Julia, SciPy, Mathematica and other packages.

Honours include the Alston S. Householder Award VI, 1987 (for the best Ph.D. thesis in numerical algebra 1984–1987), the 1988 Leslie Fox Prize in Numerical Analysis, a 1999 Junior Whitehead Prize from the London Mathematical Society, the 2008 Fröhlich Prize of the London Mathematical Society, the 2019 Naylor Prize and Lectureship by the London Mathematical Society, the 2020 IMA Gold Medal of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and the 2021 George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition from SIAM.

Higham is also author of the best-selling SIAM books Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences (2rd edition, 2020) and MATLAB Guide (with D. J. Higham, 3rd edition, 2017), and is a contributor to the popular Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics (fourth edition, 2008).

September 2021