

George Szekeres 19112005 Aug 28
It is not often realized how "computational" George was, in addition to his
work in analysis and combinatorics. The early history of George and Esther has
been well told by Ren Potts [1]. There is a nice story about how on appointing
George as lecturer, Adelaide University thought it would be a good idea if he
got a PhD. Apparently the regulations would allow him to be his own supervisor
and examiner, but not to be enrolled as he was insufficiently qualified for
this. Before this could be sorted out, he had become professor at UNSW. George
was already writing Fortran (or FORTRAN as it then was) programs around 1960,
(when the language was just a few years old) for his multidimensional
continued fraction algorithm. In the mid90s, I worked with him on
Feigenbaum's functional equation. We both wrote programs to solve several
cases of this equation, and I was very impressed by this 80 yearold who knew
more about how to actually get computers to do real mathematics than many of
my younger colleagues. I thus became his last coauthor. After this I
corresponded with him on simultaneous Diophantine approximation algorithms,
and his letters were always characterized by carefully workedout illustrative
examples. One of his last papers [4] was computational in a different way  he
studied the growth rate of solutions of functional equations by ingenious
Fourier methods.
biography
References

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