Nicholas Metropolis

Updated: 12/30/2019 by Computer Hope
Nicholas Metropolis

Name: Nicholas Constantine Metropolis

Born: June 11, 1915, in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Death: October 17, 1999 (Age: 84)

Computer-related contributions

  • Greek American physicist.
  • Known for the Monte Carlo method, simulated annealing and Metropolis–Hastings algorithm.
  • One of the original staff of fifty scientists at Los Alamos in 1943 during the Manhattan Project.
  • After World War II, he returned to Los Alamos in 1948 to lead the group in the Theoretical (T) Division that designed and built the MANIAC I computer in 1952.

Honors and awards

  • First Los Alamos employee honored with the title "emeritus" by the University of California (1987).
  • Awarded the Pioneer Medal by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
  • Made a Laboratory Senior Fellow at Los Alamos (1980).
  • Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


"Most of us have grown so blase about computer developments and capabilities — even some that are spectacular — that it is difficult to believe or imagine there was a time when we suffered the noisy, painstakingly slow, electromechanical devices that chomped away on punched cards."