Obituaries: James Longley

January 22, 1999

James Longley died on October 31, 1998, two days past his 85th birthday.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, he received MA and PhD degrees in economics from Harvard University. He spent most of his career at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning a Career Service Award.

His book Least Squares Computations Using Orthogonalization Methods (Marcel Dekker, 1984) was dedicated to his wife, Letitia, now deceased. He is best known for the Longley dataset, a least squares problem that is computationally difficult. His last publication, co-authored by his brother Roger Dale, appeared in the journal Numerical Linear Algebra with Applications just last year. He was a member of SIAM, the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, the American Statistical Association, and the Association for Computing Machinery.

He will be remembered for his high standards, his joy in debate, his advocacy of Gram-Schmidt methods, and his beloved rose garden.

Dianne P. O'Leary, Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park


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