David Keyes' Home Page

David Keyes' Home Page


[ Biosketch | 2007 Fernbach Award | 1999 Bell Prize | interview (video) | NSF RTG in Scientific Computing | SCaLeS Workshop | ISCR Brochure | ISCR Annual Report | Recent Publications | DOE SciDAC Project | DOE ASCI Project | NSF ITR Project | NSF MDC Project | Editorial Boards | Math History | AMS "Math Moments" | SIAM CS&E | Quotables ]



David's  Picture
Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, Harvard, 1984
Fu Foundation Professor, Applied Physics & Applied Mathematics, Columbia
Acting Director, Institute for Scientific Computing Research, LLNL
Research interests: Scientific Computing, Parallel Algorithms, Parallel Performance Analysis, Computational Aerodynamics, Computational Radiation Transport, Computational Combustion, Optimization.


"We ought not to be embarrassed of appreciating the truth and of obtaining it wherever it comes from, even if it comes from races distant and nations different from us. Nothing should be dearer to the seeker of truth than the truth itself, and there is no deterioration of the truth, nor belittling either of one who speaks it or conveys it." - Al Kindi (805-873)

"I have the result, but I do not yet know how to get it." - Gauss (1777-1855)

"In science, one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite." - attributed to Dirac (1902 - 1984)

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes, which can be made, in a very narrow field." - Bohr (1885 - 1962)

"The Scientific Method is doing your damndest with your mind, no holds barred!" - Percy Bridgeman (1882 - 1961)
"The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers" (1961). "The purpose of computing numbers is not yet in sight" (1997). - Hamming (1915-1997)

"We often think that when we have completed our study on `one', we know all about `two', since `two is one and one'. We forget that we still have to make a study of `and'." - Eddington (1882-1944)

"Th'invention all admir'd, and each, how he to be th'inventor miss'd; so easy it seem'd, once found, which yet unfound most would have thought impossible." - Milton (1608-1674)

"My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine -- everybody drinks water." - Twain (1835-1910)

"It is easier to write ten volumes on theoretical principles than to put one into practice." - Tolstoy (1828-1910)

"Moments of great discovery in science are more often accompanied by 'That's funny...' than by 'Eureka!'" - Asimov (1920-1992, paraphrase)

"I would rather have today's algorithms on yesterday's computers than vice versa." - Phillipe Toint (contemporary)

"A couple of months in the laboratory can frequently save a couple of hours in the library." - Frank Westheimer (contemporary)

"We are faced with insurmountable opportunity." - Pogo

"All models are wrong; some models are useful." - George Box (contemporary)

"All narratives are true; some of them actually happened." - Ronald Wetherington (contemporary)

"All trends are exponential; some are more exponential than others." - myself (contemporary)

"The essense of research is solving for the question." - Allen Boozer (contemporary)

"Think. Then discretize." - Vladimir Rokhlin (contemporary)

"A good exam squeezes out of you every little drop of what you didn't know you knew." - Nathan Keyes (contemporary)

"The plural of anecdote is [+/- NOT] data." - Raymond Wolfinger (contemporary), without the "NOT"

"Quand j'etais petit je voulais devenir maitre du monde. Aujourd'hui je suis deja tres content quand j'arrive a rester maitre de moi." - Geluck (contemporary)

"La culture ne consiste pas a lire ni a savoir beaucoup, mais a connaitre beaucoup." - Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)


Click here for more quotations (not all of them about the scientific endeavor)


Appl Phys & Appl Math
Columbia University
200 S. W. Mudd Bldg., MC 4701
500 W. 120th Street
New York, NY, 10027
dept: (212) 854-4458
fax: (212) 854-8257

david.keyes AT columbia.edu