Richard Hamming

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope

Richard HammingName: Richard Wesley Hamming

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

Death: January 7, 1998 (Age: 82)

Computer-related contributions

  • American mathematician and author whose work greatly effected the fields of computer science and telecommunications.
  • Invented Hamming codes - computer error-detecting and correcting codes.
  • Known for Hamming window, Hamming numbers, Sphere-packing, and Hamming distance.
  • Founder and president of the Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Worked on the Manhattan Project in 1945, programming one of the earliest electronic digital computers.

Significant publications

  • The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn (1997).
  • The Art of Probability for Scientists and Engineers (1994).
  • Methods of Mathematics Applied to Calculus, Probability, and Statistics (1985).
  • Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers (1962).

Honors and awards

  • Basic Research Award, Eduard Rhein Foundation (1996).
  • Certificate of Merit, Franklin Institute (1996).
  • Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (1994).
  • IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal, named after him and was the first recipient of this medal (1988).
  • Turing Award, Association for Computing Machinery (1968).


"There are wavelengths that people cannot see, there are sounds that people cannot hear, and maybe computers have thoughts that people cannot think."