A method is presented for the simultaneous calculation of slip amplitudes and rupture times for a finite fault using a hybrid global search algorithm. The method we use combines simulated annealing with the downhill simplex method to produce a more efficient search algorithm then either of the two constituent parts. This formulation has advantages over traditional iterative or linearized approaches to the problem because it is able to escape local minima in its search through model space for the global optimum. We apply this global search method to the calculation of the rupture history for the Landers, California, earthquake. The rupture is modeled using three separate finite-fault planes to represent the three main fault segments that failed during this earthquake. Both the slip amplitude and the time of slip are calculated for a grid work of subfaults. The data used consist of digital, teleseismic P and SH body waves. Long-period, broadband, and short-period records are utilized to obtain a wideband characterization of the source. The results of the global search inversion are compared with a more traditional linear-least-squares inversion for only slip amplitudes. We use a multi-time-window linear analysis to relax the constraints on rupture time and rise time in the least-squares inversion. Both inversions produce similar slip distributions, although the linear-least-squares solution has a 10% larger moment (7.3 ?? 1026 dyne-cm compared with 6.6 ?? 1026 dyne-cm). Both inversions fit the data equally well and point out the importance of (1) using a parameterization with sufficient spatial and temporal flexibility to encompass likely complexities in the rupture process, (2) including suitable physically based constraints on the inversion to reduce instabilities in the solution, and (3) focusing on those robust rupture characteristics that rise above the details of the parameterization and data set.