• 1907 June 20
    (b.) -
    1958 March 07


A British mathematician who made important contributions to textiles, computing and arterial mechanics, he studied Mathematics at Imperial College of Science and Technology and subsequently worked at the Shirley Institute (British Cotton Industry Research Institute) Manchester. During World War II he was head of the Ministry of Supply Advisory Service on Statistical Methods. At the end of the war he was appointed superintendent of the Mathematics Division of the National Physical Laboratory. He coined the name Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) for the early electronic computer developed there and recruited Alan Turing to work on it. He is principally remembered for his contribution to arterial fluid dynamics and the eponymous Womersley number, a dimensionless parameter expression the relation of the frequency of pulsatile flow to viscosity. He is the author of: ?The application of differential geometry to the study of the deformation of cloth under stress?, Shirley Institute Memoirs, 1937, 16 No. 1; ?Scientific computing in Great Britain, Math. Tables and Aids to Computation?, 1946, 2 , 110-117; and ?Oscillatory motion of a viscous liquid in a thin-walled elastic tube. I. The linear approximation for long waves?, Phil. Mag., 1955 46 , 199-221; and the co-author of: ?A method for the numerical or mechanical solution of certain types of partial differential equations?, Proc. Royal Soc. 1937, A161 , 353-366 with D. R. Hartree. In ?Turing?s Cathedral? by George Dyson it is noted, that ?he had been sent to the United States in the spring of 1945 to survey the latest (and still-secret) computer developments, including the Harvard Mark I tape-controlled electronic calculator, which he described in a letter home as ?Turing in hardware?.?
  • Date of Birth:

    1907 June 20
  • Date of Death:

    1958 March 07
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Initiator of the name Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) for the early electronic computer and recruited Alan Turing to work on it
  • Category of Achievement:

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