Philip J. Davis is an American academic applied mathematician.
Davis was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He is known for his work in numerical analysis and approximation theory, as well as his investigations in the history and philosophy of mathematics. Currently a Professor Emeritus from the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University, he earned his degrees in mathematics from Harvard University.
He served briefly in an aerodynamics research position in the Air Force in World War II before joining the National Bureau of Standards. He became Chief of Numerical Analysis there and worked on the well-known Abramowitz and Stegun Handbook of Mathematical Functions before joining Brown in 1963.
He was awarded the Chauvenet Prize for mathematical writing in 1963 for an article on the gamma function, and has won numerous other prizes, including being chosen to deliver the 1991 Hendrick Lectures of the MAA. He has also been a frequent invited lecturer. In addition, he has authored several books. Among the best known are The Mathematical Experience, a popular survey of modern mathematics and its history and philosophy; Methods of Numerical Integration, long the standard work on the subject of quadrature; and Interpolation and Approximation, still an important reference in this area.