In this interview, Joseph Traub begins by discussing his involvement, while a Bell Labs researcher in the 1960s, in the establishment (with Phyllis Fox and Morven Gentleman) of a project to create a portable library software library of high quality, tested routines for numerical analysis. He also gives more general commentary on the relationship of software to the discipline of numerical analysis, and on his personal experience with programming. He then discusses his role as founder of ACM SIGNUM, the special interest group for numerical mathematics.
In the second half of the interview, Traub talks more generally about his work in the twenty years since oral history interviews were conducted by William Aspray for the Charles Babbage Institute. Topics include the further development of information-based complexity, his work on the computation of financial derivatives, his interest in quantum computing, his role in the establishment of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies, his founding of the Journal of Complexity, his early concern over security of the national information infrastructure, and his external professorship at the Santa Fe Institute.