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Numerical Algorithms Group's Blog

Diversity at NAG: Vision for our future and where we are today

November 16, 2015 Comments (0)

A short time ago my colleague, Andrew Jones, VP HPC Business, introduced me to John West, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Andrew found his blog posts “Diversity in HPC Won’t Improve Until We Start Counting” and his follow up “How One HPC Center Learned to Count” inspiring and suggested we get involved. We were all equally encouraged by John’s work and it gave us the impetus to get behind his initiative by investigating NAG’s Gender...

Finding the safe path through the HPC fog

November 6, 2015 Comments (0)

The use of HPC (or supercomputing or big data computing or advanced technical computing or …) delivers real and significant benefits to those organizations that can exploit it effectively. However, the world of HPC technology is a complex space, with a plethora of technology options, continuous rapid change, ambiguous long terms trends, diverse business models, and potential disruptive technologies. This presents challenges for buyers, managers, programmers and users of HPC facilities: how to...

Travelling Rugby Fan Problem

October 2, 2015 Comments (0)

The Rugby World Cup is well underway here in England. So far, I have been lucky enough to witness Japan beat South Africa at the Community Stadium in Brighton and next on my list is the nail biting encounter between England and Australia at Twickenham in South West London. All this travelling got me thinking, what would be fastest route to visit all the stadia hosting a Rugby World game if one was lucky enough to have tickets?The naive approach is to go to Google Maps and choose the best order...

Life Service Award 2015 – David Sayers

September 24, 2015 Comments (0)

The NAG Life Service Recognition Award has been running for 5 years – it was created in NAG’s 40th year as a way of showing gratitude to people that have dedicated immense time and commitment to the company. It was a pleasure to see David Sayers, NAG Honorarium, receive the award at our recent AGM. As has become customary, James Davenport, Professor of Information Technology, University of Bath, presented David with the award and said one colleague wrote of David as follows, “David...

Introducing the team: Kathy Godwin, Quality Manager and Libraries Project Manager

September 11, 2015 Comments (0)

Kathy, describe your role at NAG? I am now the Quality Manager and Libraries Project Manager.   As Quality Manager, I try to keep everyone on their toes by checking 'everything' ... how it was done, why it was done, when it was done, ..., was it done to spec, was it thoroughly and successfully tested/checked, could we have done it any better, ..., is the customer happy, is the Developer happy, is the team happy. I am pleased to say that all...

NAG Linear Regression on Apache Spark

July 9, 2015 Comments (0)

This is a brief summary of a talk I gave recently at the Chicago Apache Spark Users Group Meetup. During the talk, I present many of the problems and successes when using the NAG Library distributed on Apache Spark worker nodes. You can find the slides available here. The Linear Regression Problem In this post we test the scalability and performance of using NAG Library for Java to solve a large-scale multi-linear regression problem on Spark. The example data ranges from...

Helping primary school children achieve the best in their SATs

June 25, 2015 Comments (0)

My wife Caroline is a teacher in a primary school near where we live in Buckinghamshire. She teaches year 6, that is to say, ten to eleven year old children. Now, year 6 is a rather important year in British schools. Children following the National Curriculum in state-funded schools are subject to SATs (standard assessment tests) before they move on to secondary school, and the results of these tests are used to create the dreaded league tables which are supposed to help parents make an...

Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software 2015

June 18, 2015 Comments (0)

by Mike Dewar, Chief Technical Officer, Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG)  James Hardy Wilkinson NAG, along with Argonne National Laboratory and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), awards the Wilkinson Prize every four years to the authors of an outstanding piece of numerical software. The prize honours the pioneering work of Dr James Hardy Wilkinson in the field of numerical algorithms, work which had a fundamental impact on NAG in our early years and which still resonates...

Introducing the team: Gail Austin, Customer Support Coordinator, Team Leader

May 21, 2015 Comments (0)

Gail, describe your role at NAG? I manage the Technical Support Service, the Sales Operations Team, NAG Oxford Reception and I am website editor for the marketing area of the website. Can you give examples of the customer problems you help solve via NAG Technical Support? Rather than solve users technical issues my role is connected to the direction of incoming support queries and the issuing and renewal of software licences. Over time I have come to understand the installation of...

Professor Mike Powell F.R.S

April 29, 2015 Comments (0)

We are pained to pass on the sad news of the death on 19th April of Prof Mike Powell F.R.S, a brilliant numerical analyst specialising in numerical optimisation and approximation theory.   Mike touched many lives with his work. NAG and NAG's community benefitted greatly because he gave freely his code to NAG from the beginning of the NAG. The more mature may remember the routine E04DCF, an implementation of his hybrid method for unconstrained optimisation. More recently his...