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Alfred Inselberg is an American-Israeli mathematician and computer scientist based at Tel Aviv University.

Inselberg started his career at the Biological Computer Laboratory based at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[1] There he was part of a cybernetics group working on biomathematics developing mathematical models of the ear, neural networks, and computer models for Vision and Non-linear Analysis, gaining a PhD [1] in Mathematics and Physics. During this period he participated in the Symposium on Principles of Self-Organization.[2] He is particularly noted for his work on parallel coordinates[3][4][5] (||-coords), which he proposed in 1959, for the visualization of multidimensional geometries (as in Linear Algebra) and multivariate problems.

This is a sectioned Messerschmidt 163 Rocket Motor

Alfred was born in 1936 in Athens, Greece. Later he attended a great school, Whittingehame College in Brighton England, where he fell in love with Geometry and especially the ability to gain insight about geometrical problems by visually interacting with drawings depicting them. He attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (UICU) receiving a B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering. Together with Gary van Sant, and two other students under the guidance of Professor Paul Torda, they founded the University of Illinois Rocket Society in 1953; four years prior to Sputnik. Continuing his studies at UICU he obtained in 1965 a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Physics under the joint guidance of Professors Ray Langebartel and Heinz von Foerster.

He then held senior research positions at IBM where he developed a Mathematical Model of the Ear(Cochlea) (TIME Nov. 74) and later Collision-Avoidance Algorithms for Air Traffic Control (3 USA patents). Concurrently he had joint appointments at UCLA, USC, Technion and Ben Gurion University. Since 1995 he is Professor at the School of Mathematical Sciences of Tel Aviv University. He was elected Senior Fellow at the San Diego Supercomputing Center in 1996. He is a sought after speaker presenting keynotes at major conferences and events. His textbook on "Parallel Coordinates: VISUAL Multidimensional Geometry", was published by Springer and was praised by Stephen Hawking among many others.


  1. ^ a b "Background". San Diego SuperComputing Center. San Diego SuperComputing Center. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  2. ^ Hutchinson, Jamie. ""Nerve center" of the cybernetic world Heinz von Foerster and the Biological Computer Laboratory". Biological Computer Laboratory. University of Illinois. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Alfred Inselberg". Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication. Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  4. ^ Inselberg, Alfred (1985). "The Plane with Parallel Coordinates". Visual Computer. 1 (4): 69–91. doi:10.1007/BF01898350.
  5. ^ Inselberg, Alfred (2009). Parallel Coordinates: VISUAL Multidimensional Geometry and its Applications. Springer. ISBN 978-0387215075.