This volume is the proceedings of a conference held in Leuven, Belgium, in 2007 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the beginning of numerical analysis. Of course mathematicians have been making numerical calculations for hundreds of years, but the organizers considered that “modern” numerical analysis started with the 1947 paper of von Neumann and Goldstine, “Numerical inverting of matrices of high order,” which was the first to consider carefully the propagation of errors.
There are no stand-out papers in the collection. They are a mixture of reminiscences of the early days, surveys of developments in a narrow area during the past 60 years, or fresh looks at ideas that were current in the beginning days.
Allen Stenger is a math hobbyist and retired software developer. He is webmaster and newsletter editor for the MAA Southwestern Section and is an editor of the Missouri Journal of Mathematical Sciences. His mathematical interests are number theory and classical analysis. He volunteers in his spare time at MathNerds.com, a math help site that fosters inquiry learning.