- Bill Gosper
name = Ralph William Gosper, Jr
image_size = 150px
birth_date = 1943
occupation = Programmer
nationality = American
field = computer scientist, mathemtician
Xerox PARC, Symbolics, Wolfram Research, the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Macsyma Inc.
alma_mater = MIT
Ralph William Gosper, Jr., (born 1943) known as Bill Gosper, is an American mathematician and programmer from
Pennsauken Township, New Jersey. [ [http://www.vintage.org/2007/main/bio.php?id=1379 Bill Gosper] , Vintage Computer Festival. Accessed January 3, 2007.] Along with Richard Greenblatt, he may be considered to have founded the hacker community, and holds a place of pride in the Lisp community. He is also noted for his work on continued fractional representations of real numbers, and for suggesting the algorithm (which bears his name) for finding closed form hypergeometric identities.
Gosper enrolled in MIT in 1961, and received his
bachelor's degreein mathematics from MIT in 1965. After taking a course on programming in his second year with John McCarthy, Gosper became affiliated with the MIT AI Lab. His contributions to computational mathematics include HAKMEM[http://www.inwap.com/pdp10/hbaker/hakmem/cf.html#item101a] and the MIT Maclispsystem. He also made major contributions to the Macsymacomputer algebra system at MIT, later working with Symbolicsand Macsyma, Inc. on the greatly improved commercial versions.
He became intensely interested in the Game of Life shortly after
John Horton Conwayhad proposed it. Conway conjectured on the existence of infinitely growing patterns, and offered a reward for an example. Gosper was the first to find such a pattern (specifically, the Glider gun), and won the prize. Gosper was also the originator of the hashlifealgorithm that can speed up the computation of Life patterns by many orders of magnitude.
In the 1970s Gosper moved to California for a three year stint at
Stanford, where he lectured and helped Donald Knuthwrite volume II of The Art of Computer Programming.
Since that time, he has worked at or consulted for
Xerox PARC, Symbolics, Wolfram Research, the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and Macsyma Inc.
Gosper has created numerous
packing problempuzzles, such as "Twubblesome Twelve".
* [http://gosper.org/ Bill Gosper's webpage]
* [http://www.tweedledum.com/rwg/ Bill Gosper's Graphics]
* [http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/TheTroublesomeTwelveCircleProblem/ Twubblesome Twelve] Puzzle - version for the free Mathematica Player
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Gosper, Bill
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American mathematician, programmer/hacker
DATE OF BIRTH=
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Pennsauken Township, New Jersey
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.