%0 Journal Article
%A Buhmann, M. D.
%A Fletcher, R.
%A Iserles, A.
%A Toint, P.
%T Michael J. D. Powell. 29 July 1936—19 April 2015
%D 2018
%R 10.1098/rsbm.2017.0023
%J Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society
%P 341-366
%V 64
%X Michael James David Powell was a British numerical analyst who was among the pioneers of computational mathematics. During a long and distinguished career, first at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) Harwell and subsequently as the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Applied Numerical Analysis in Cambridge, he contributed decisively towards establishing optimization theory as an effective tool of scientific enquiry, replete with highly effective methods and mathematical sophistication. He also made crucial contributions to approximation theory, in particular to the theory of spline functions and of radial basis functions. In a subject that roughly divides into practical designers of algorithms and theoreticians who seek to underpin algorithms with solid mathematical foundations, Mike Powell refused to follow this dichotomy. His achievements span the entire range from difficult and intricate convergence proofs to the design of algorithms and production of software. He was among the leaders of a subject area that is at the nexus of mathematical enquiry and applications throughout science and engineering.
%U http://rsbm.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roybiogmem/64/341.full.pdf