Author Archives: Nick Higham

Palomino Blackwing Pencil Tribute to Ada Lovelace

Despite the deep penetration of digital tools into our lives, a lot of mathematics is still written by hand in pencil, and so it is appropriate that the Palomino Blackwing Volumes 16.2 pencil is a tribute to Ada Lovelace, the … Continue reading

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Photo Highlights of 2017

Here are some of my favourite photos taken at events that I attended in 2017. Atlanta (January) This was the first time I have attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings, which were held in Atlanta, January 4-7, 2017. It was a … Continue reading

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Numerical Linear Algebra Group 2017

The Manchester Numerical Linear Algebra Group (many of whom are in the October 2017 photo below) was involved in a variety of activities this year. This post summarizes what we got up to. Publications are not included here, but many … Continue reading

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The Strange Case of the Determinant of a Matrix of 1s and -1s

By Nick Higham and Alan Edelman (MIT) In a 2005 talk the second author noted that the MATLAB det function returns an odd integer for a certain 27-by-27 matrix composed of s and s: >> A = edelman; % Set … Continue reading

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Fun Books for Learning Programming

I learned Fortran from the TV course and book by Jeff Rohl. Some years later I came across A FORTRAN Coloring Book by Roger Emanuel Kaufman (MIT Press, 1978). The text is entirely handwritten (even the copyright page), is illustrated … Continue reading

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Org Mode Syntax Cheat Sheet

I’m a keen user of Emacs and Org mode for a variety of tasks, including note taking, generating documents for exporting to LaTeX, Word, or html. creating blog posts (notably for this blog, using Org2blog). Although Org mode is usually … Continue reading

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What’s New in MATLAB R2017b?

Following my earlier posts What’s New in MATLAB R2016b? and What’s New in MATLAB R2017a? I take a look here at the R2017b release of MATLAB. As before, this is not a comprehensive treatment (for which see the Release Notes), … Continue reading

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Foundations of Applied Mathematics Book Series

Foundations of Applied Mathematics, Volume 1: Mathematical Analysis was published by SIAM this summer. Written by Jeffrey Humpherys, Tyler J. Jarvis, and Emily J. Evans, all from Brigham Young University, this is the first of a four-book series, aimed at … Continue reading

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Christopher T. H. Baker (1939–2017)

By Nick Higham and Neville Ford (University of Chester) Christopher Thomas Hale Baker died on August 20, 2017 at the age of 78. He was born on the Isle of Thanet, Kent, in 1939, and was educated at Colchester Royal … Continue reading

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How Fast is Quadruple Precision Arithmetic?

When I am testing an algorithm running in double precision arithmetic I often want to compare the computed solution with a reference solution: a solution that is fully accurate to double precision. To obtain one I solve the same problem … Continue reading

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