Magnus Hestenes

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Magnus Hestenes
File:Magnus Hestenes.jpg
Born February 13, 1906
Bricelyn, Minnesota
Died May 31, 1991
Nationality American
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of California, Los Angeles
Alma mater University of Chicago
Doctoral advisor Gilbert Bliss
Doctoral students Glen Culler
William Karush
Richard Tapia
Jesse Wilkins, Jr.

Magnus Rudolph Hestenes (February 13, 1906 – May 31, 1991) was an American mathematician. Together with Cornelius Lanczos and Eduard Stiefel, he invented the conjugate gradient method.


Born in Bricelyn, Minnesota, Hestenes earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1932 under Gilbert Bliss. His dissertation was titled "Sufficient Conditions for the General Problem of Mayer with Variable End-Points." After teaching as an associate professor at Chicago, in 1947 he moved to a professorship at UCLA. He continued there until his retirement in 1973, and during that time he served as department chair from 1950-58. While a professor, Hestenes supervised the thesis research of 34 students, among them Glen Culler, Richard Tapia and Jesse Wilkins, Jr..

Hestenes received the Guggenheim (1954) and Fulbright awards, was a vice president of the American Mathematical Society, and was an invited speaker at the 1954 International Congress of Mathematicians in Amsterdam.

He died on May 31, 1991 in Los Angeles, California.

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