Roland Bulirsch was born on November 10th, 1932 in Reichenberg (Bohemia). From 1947 till 1951 he received his professional training as an engine fitter at the Siemens-Schuckert plant in Nürnberg and worked on the assembly line for industrial transformers. In autumn 1954 he began studying Mathematics and Physics at the Technische Hochschule (later: Universität) München.He finished his Ph.D. in 1961, under his supervisor Prof.Dr. Dr.-Ing. E.h. R. Sauer. Five years later he received the venia legendi for Mathematics at the TU München. At this time the TU München was already one of the leading centers in Numerical Analysis worldwide. The well-known journal Numerische Mathematik was established under the influence of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. F.L. Bauer. Together with Josef Stoer, Roland Bulirsch contributed the famous extrapolation algorithms. From 1966 to 1967 he served as chair of Mathematics for Engineers at the TU Munchen.