William H. Press is a computer scientist and computational biologist with broad interests in the physical and biological sciences. He holds the Warren J. and Viola Mae Raymer Chair in the Department of Computer Science and in the School of Biological Sciences, Integrative Biology Section. Press is also a senior fellow emeritus at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Press was for many years professor of astronomy and physics at Harvard University, leaving to become deputy laboratory director at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he remained for 10 years before coming to the university. From 1998 to 2004, Press was deputy laboratory director for science and technology at Los Alamos National Laboratory, with direct responsibility for ensuring the scientific quality of the laboratory’s
In his research career, Press has published more than 150 papers in the areas of computational biology, theoretical astrophysics, cosmology, and computational algorithms. He is senior author of the “Numerical Recipes” textbooks on scientific computing, with more than 400,000 hardcover copies in print. Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1994, he became a founding member of NAS’s Computer and Information Sciences section. Press has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and to the Council on Foreign Relations.
Press was appointed vice chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He served as the 165th president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.