Ceres Solver grew out of the need for general least squares solving at Google. In early 2010, Sameer Agarwal and Fredrik Schaffalitzky started the development of Ceres Solver. Fredrik left Google shortly thereafter and Keir Mierle stepped in to take his place. After two years of on-and-off development, Ceres Solver was released as open source in May of 2012.

Origin of the name

While there is some debate as to who invented the method of Least Squares [Stigler], there is no debate that it was Carl Friedrich Gauss who brought it to the attention of the world. Using just 22 observations of the newly discovered asteroid Ceres, Gauss used the method of least squares to correctly predict when and where the asteroid will emerge from behind the Sun [TenenbaumDirector]. We named our solver after Ceres to celebrate this seminal event in the history of astronomy, statistics and optimization.