Herbert Bishop Keller
Born(1925-06-19)June 19, 1925
DiedJanuary 26, 2008(2008-01-26) (aged 82)
EducationGeorgia Institute of Technology
New York University
RelativesJoseph Keller (brother)
Scientific career
InstitutionsSarah Lawrence College
Washington Square College
New York University
United States Atomic Energy Commission
California Institute of Technology
ThesisOn Systems of Linear Ordinary Differential Equations with Applications to Ionospheric Propagation (1954)
Doctoral advisorWilhelm Magnus
Joseph Keller
Doctoral studentsJames Keener

Herbert Bishop Keller (19 June 1925 in Paterson, New Jersey – 26 January 2008 in Pasadena, California)[1] was an American applied mathematician and numerical analyst. He was professor of applied mathematics, emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology.[2]

Early life and education

Keller graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor's in electrical engineering in 1945; and from New York University, later known as the Courant Institute, with a Ph.D. in 1954.[3]


A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Keller was known for his contributions to the field of applied mathematics and numerical analysis including bifurcation theory, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and scientific computing. He is the co-author, with Eugene Isaacson, of the classic textbook Analysis of Numerical Methods, which is still in use in leading graduate programs in applied mathematics.[4] It is interesting to observe that the first letters of each sentence in the Preface spell "Down With Computers And Their Lackeys." He served as president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (1974–1976).[5]

Keller was a recipient of the Theodore von Kármán Prize of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 1994.[6] Herbert was the younger brother of applied mathematician Joseph B. Keller.[7] Joseph Keller was also a co-advisor for Herbert's PhD thesis.

Keller was an avid bicyclist even at 82 years old. He died after his regular Saturday morning bike ride when he took a dip in a hot tub to relax his muscles, lost consciousness due to hyperthermia, and drowned.


  1. ^ "Professor Herbert Bishop Keller (1925-2008)" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Obituary: Herbert B. Keller". Caltech. Archived from the original on 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  3. ^ "Interview with Herbert B. Keller". Oral History Project. California Institute of Technology Archives. 1998. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Herbert Keller". SIAM. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  5. ^ SIAM Presidents http://www.siam.org/about/more/presidents.php
  6. ^ "People". Los Angeles Times. 1884-01-06. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  7. ^ "Interview: Herbert B. Keller" (PDF). Caltech library. 1996. Retrieved 2009-09-21.