C. William Gear

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C. William Gear ( Charles William "Bill" Gear; born February 1, 1935 in London ) is an American mathematician who deals with numerical mathematics and computer science.

Gear studied at Cambridge University with a bachelor's degree in 1957 and a master's degree (MA) in 1960 and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a master's degree (MS) in 1957 and a doctorate with Abraham H. Taub in 1960 ( Singular Shock Intersections in Plane Flow). From 1960 to 1962 he was an engineer at IBM and from 1962 to 1990 Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was head of the faculty from 1985 to 1990. From 1992 to 2000 he was President of the NEC Research Institute in Princeton.

From 1966 to 1971 he was a consultant at the Argonne National Laboratory .

Gear deals with numerical analysis, computer graphics and software development. He is known for the development of the BDF method (originally introduced by the chemists Charles Francis Curtiss and Joseph Oakland Hirschfelder in 1952), a multi-step method for solving systems of rigid differential equations. He published his first work on this in 1967.

He is also concerned with applications in nonlinear systems and biology (such as chemotaxis of bacteria) and will do research on these after his retirement from Princeton University .

He is a US citizen. Gear is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Engineering . In 1987 he received an honorary doctorate from the Royal Technical University in Stockholm.


  • Computer Organization and Programming. McGraw Hill, 1969; 4th edition: 1985 (with a focus on PC)
  • Introduction to Computer Science. Science Research Associates, Chicago 1973
  • Programming in Pascal. Science Research Associates, 1983
  • Numerical Initial Value Problems in Ordinary Differential Equations. Prentice Hall, 1971
  • Backward Differentiation Formulas . Scholarpedia

Web links

  • CW Gear on the Princeton University website


  1. Life data according to American Men and Women of Science. Thomson Gale, 2004
  2. C. William Gear in the Mathematics Genealogy Project (English)Template: MathGenealogyProject / Maintenance / id used