Richard W. Hamming

United States – 1968
Short Annotated Bibliography

Hamming published 9 books and about 80 papers. In addition to publications relating to his research, he also wrote textbooks to encourage a different approach to teaching mathematics as well as articles about teaching mathematics. He wrote popular articles on the future of computing, the future of statistics and other such topics, all written in his entertaining and informative style.

  1. Hamming, Richard W., "Error-Detecting and Error-Correcting Codes", Bell Systems Technical Journal, Vol. 29, 1950, pp. 147-160.  Classic paper which introduced error-correcting codes. See ErrorCorrecting for details.
  2. Hamming, Richard W., "Stable Predictor-Corrector Methods for Ordinary Differential Equations", Journal of the ACM, Vol. 6, 1959, pp. 37-47.  A significant contribution to numerical methods for solving differential equations. Hamming presents stable methods where errors from rounding get small compared to the solution as the calculation proceeds.
  3. Hamming, Richard W., Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1st edition, 1962; 2nd edition, 1973; reprinted by Dover, 1985.  This classic text looks at how numerical methods can be used to solve real-life problems using a computer. Throughout, Hamming bases his approach on the slogan "The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers"
  4. Hamming, Richard W., Introduction to Applied Numerical Analysis, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1971.  Hamming designed this text to introduce engineers and scientists to the design of computer programs. He explains twelve separate topics "as simply as possible and in a uniform way".
  5. Hamming, Richard W., Computers and Society, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1972.  Hamming writes in the Preface, "The purpose of this book is to present many of the ideas involving the digital computer and its relation to modern society. The presentation is designed for liberal arts and humanities-oriented people who wish to know about computers without learning to run them."
  6. Hamming, Richard W., Coding and information theory, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1st edition, 1980; 2nd edition, 1986.  This book presents coding and information theory for a reader who has no expert knowledge of mathematics. It is a highly readable account of the ideas for which Hamming is most famous.
  7. Hamming, Richard W., Digital Filters, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1st edition, 1977; 2nd edition, 1983; 3rd edition, 1989.  Hamming presents a very useful introduction to the technology of digital filtering. He worked on this topic from his early days at Bell Labs.
  8. Hamming, Richard W., Methods of mathematics applied to calculus, probability, and statistics, Prentice-Hall, 1985. Reprinted by Dover Publications, 2004.