Author Archives: Nick Higham

Happy 80th Birthday Cleve!

Today is the 80th birthday of Cleve Moler. Most readers will know Cleve as the inventor of MATLAB. MATLAB was originally a Fortran program that Cleve wrote to give students easier access to the EISPACK and LINPACK libraries. Cleve and … Continue reading

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The Argonne Tapes

A few weeks ago, I was in contact with Chris Paige, an emeritus Professor of Computer Science at McGill University, Montreal. I mentioned that Sven Hammarling and I are collecting information and memorabilia about the numerical analyst James Hardy Wilkinson … Continue reading

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Numerical Algorithms for High-Performance Computational Science: Highlights of the Meeting

Word cloud from abstracts. The Royal Society discussion meeting Numerical Algorithms for High-Performance Computational Science, which I organized with Jack Dongarra and Laura Grigori, was held in London, April 8-9, 2019. The meeting had 16 invited speakers and 23 contributed … Continue reading

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Advances in Numerical Linear Algebra Conference and James Hardy Wilkinson Centenary

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of James Hardy Wilkinson, FRS. Wilkinson developed the theory and practice of backward error analysis for floating-point computation, and developed, analyzed, and implemented in software many algorithms in numerical linear algebra. … Continue reading

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Who Invented the Matrix Condition Number?

The condition number of a matrix is a well known measure of ill conditioning that has been in use for many years. For an matrix it is , where is any matrix norm. If is singular we usually regard the … Continue reading

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Reflections on a SIAM Presidency

My two-year term as SIAM President ended on December 31, 2018. It’s been an exciting and enjoyable two years, not least because of the excellent SIAM staff, leadership and other volunteers I’ve worked with. My blog post Taking Up the … Continue reading

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Top Ten Posts of 2018

According to the WordPress statistics, this blog received over 42,000 visitors and 73,000 views in 2018. These are the ten most-viewed posts published during the year. How to Program log z Tricks and Tips in Numerical Computing Conversations with Gil … Continue reading

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Half Precision Arithmetic: fp16 Versus bfloat16

The 2008 revision of the IEEE Standard for Floating-Point Arithmetic introduced a half precision 16-bit floating point format, known as fp16, as a storage format. Various manufacturers have adopted fp16 for computation, using the obvious extension of the rules for … Continue reading

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What’s New in MATLAB R2018b?

The MATLAB R2018b release notes report a number of performance improvements, including faster startup and faster calls to built-in functions. I pick out here a few other highlights from the release (excluding the toolboxes) that are of interest from the … Continue reading

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Bohemian Matrices in Manchester

Bohemian matrices are families of matrices in which the entries are drawn from a fixed discrete set of small integers (or some other discrete set). The term is a contraction of BOunded HEight Matrix of Integers and was coined by … Continue reading

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