Issue 44, 31 March 2005

In this issue:

For more information about any of the articles featured in this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us at nagnews@nag.co.uk


Top Story - NAG's IRIS Explorer for Apple Power MAC OS X

NAG is delighted to announce the availability of our visualization software, IRIS Explorer for Apple Mac OS X. IRIS Explorer is one of the first modular visualization environments to be made available for Mac users.

NAG's IRIS Explorer is a system for the visualization of scientific data. It uses a visual programming interface in which users can build their own modules or utilize the standard modules provided within the software to create applications. The modular design of IRIS Explorer facilitates maximum flexibility in visualization development because researchers can, within seconds, try several ways to convert numerical data into different types of pictures. The 'point and click' application development environment speeds up the time taken to develop and prototype applications, giving competitive advantage and reducing time-to-market. The 3D visualizations created by IRIS Explorer can be manipulated in real time and are ideal for displaying scientific data from chemistry, physics and other disciplines, together with engineering data from finite-element modeling and CFD. More recently, IRIS Explorer has also been applied to other areas, such as the visualization of financial data.

For more information about this landmark release, or to arrange a free trial of the software please email us at mailto:nagnews@nag.co.uk or visit http://www.nag.co.uk/visualisation_graphics.asp for further product information.


In the News - High-Performance Math Libraries

The following is a summary of an article entitled 'High-Performance Math Libraries' by Mick Pont, Senior Technical Consultant at NAG, which was published in Dr Dobb's Journal, March 2005. The article examines how to use high-performance mathematical libraries to speed-up application code, and presents tricks used to achieve excellent performance, while still maintaining accuracy. Although the article concentrates on AMD's ACML (AMD Core Math Library), the benefits discussed apply to libraries from other hardware and software vendors.

The AMD Core Math Library, developed by NAG and AMD, is a freely available toolset that provides core mathematical functionality for Advanced Micro Devices' AMD64 processor, www.amd.com/amd64. The highly optimized ACML is supported on both Linux and Windows and incorporates BLAS, LAPACK, and FFT routines for use in mathematical, engineering, scientific, and financial applications.

To read the entire article please visit http://www.nag.co.uk/IndustryArticles/HighPerformanceMathLibraries.pdf


Product News - NAG Mathematical and Statistical Components in C#

In light of recent trends in software development NAG recognises the need for mathematical and statistical components for C#. To whet the appetite of software developers using the Microsoft .NET environment we have developed a subset of statistical routines in C#.

The NAG mathematic and statistical components in C# are managed, safe code. Managed code means that information necessary for the common language runtime to provide services such as memory management, cross-language integration, code access security, and automatic lifetime control of objects is available. It is also safe code - all array usage is checked to ensure that there are no array bound violations.

Whilst our DLL libraries can be called efficiently from .NET, NAG believes that many of our customers are looking for the fully managed solution that would be offered by a C# Library. This environment allows rapid program development in the whole family of .NET languages, including C#, C++, J# and Visual Basic.

The underlying methods are the same excellent algorithms that have earned NAG its fine reputation in the field of computational software.

If you are active in software development arena using C# and wish to talk to NAG about your work and requirements please email us for more information at mailto:nagnews@nag.co.uk


General Information - Congratulations

We are pleased to report that Professor Ian Gladwell of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, has been named Editor-in-Chief of TOMS, the highly regarded "Transactions on Mathematical Software" publication from the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) http://www.acm.org/toms/.

Ian is a long-time contributor to the NAG Library and has served for a number of years on our senior technical advisory committee. We congratulate Ian on his TOMS appointment.


Tips & Hints - NAG Fortran Library - Absoft Pro Fortran Version 9.0

The NAG DLLs may be used in many environments. Our Users' Note contains detailed descriptions of how the DLLs may be used in these situations and often a set of examples is given, together with supporting information.

The Absoft F77 compiler provides one such environment. When the Mark 20 DLLs were released the current Absoft compiler was version 7.0 and so our description and example gave details of use with this compiler. The example was a modified example program for D02CJF. This routine solves an ordinary differential equation, initial value problem using a variable order, variable step Adams method.

The integration proceeds until a user-specified function is zero. The user is required to provide this function, G(T,Y) in the form of a FUNCTION. Since the DLLs are DOUBLE PRECISION and are compiled using the STDCALL calling convention, at Absoft version 7 the following convention is used:

STDCALL DOUBLE PRECISION FUNCTION G(T,Y)

With the latest, version 9.0, release of the Absoft F77 compiler this syntax is no longer recognised and gives rise to a compiler error. At version 9 one of the following syntaxes is required:

STDCALL FUNCTION G(T,Y)
DOUBLE PRECISION G

or

DOUBLE PRECISION FUNCTION G(T,Y)
STDCALL G

To summarise, in version 9.0 of the Absoft F77 Compiler the STDCALL statement cannot be followed by the function type.


Events - UK
  • BCME 6 - 30th March - 1st April 2005 - University of Warwick
    NAG is delighted to be support BCME 6 (British Congress of Mathematics Education). Many of the UK's leading mathematical organisations are uniting in a single conference at Warwick University dedicated to mathematics and mathematics education. For further information please visit www.bcme6.org.

  • YOR14 - 4th - 6th April 2005 - University of Bath
    Founded over 50 years ago, the OR Society (ORS) is the world's oldest-established learned society catering to the Operational Research (OR) profession, and one of the largest in the world, with 3000 members in 53 countries. One of the Society's principal activities is to continually foster higher standards in OR by providing the world's most extensive training programme in OR. Steve Langdell, of NAG will be speaking on Efficient Algorithms for Data Mining and Cleaning at YOR14 (Young Operational Research). For further details please visit www.theorsociety.com.

  • ERCOFTAC - 6th - 8th April 2005 - University of Manchester
    The European Research Community on Flow, Turbulence and Combustion (ERCOFTAC) is holding a workshop at the University of Manchester. Sven Hammarling, Principal Consultant at NAG is contributing to the workshop by staging a Question & Answer session on the optimization routines in the NAG Library. For more information please visit www.ercoftac.org.

  • ACCU Conference - 20th - 23rd April 2005 - Randolf Hotel, Oxford
    This year's ACCU (Association of C+ C++ Users) Conference is playing host to a number of international speakers at the forefront of software development. NAG is delighted to be supporting the event. NAG Technical Experts will be available to talk about our mathematical and statistical components and how they can enhance software development. For more information please visit www.accu.org.

  • CARISMA - 18th - 19th May 2005 - Institute of Actuaries & The National Liberal Club, London
    NAG is sponsoring the forthcoming CARISMA (The Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Optimisation Modelling Applications) event "New Directions in Risk Modelling and Financial Planning" to be held in London on 18-19 May 2005. For more details visit http://www.unicom.co.uk/events/event_details.asp?productid=1377.


Product News - New Implementations

NAG is committed to offering new implementations of its broad range of numerical and statistical software, compilers and tools. Since the last edition of NAGNews platform availability has increased for the NAG Fortran Library, the NAG Fortran 90 Library (fl90) and NAG IRIS Explorer.

The NAG Fortran Library, Mark 21 is now also available for the following platforms:

  • SGI MIPS IRIX 6 (32-bit) using the MIPSPro 7.41 Compiler
  • SGI MIPS IRIX 6 (64-bit) using the MIPSPro 7.41 Compiler
  • Intel-32 Linux using the Intel 8.1 Compiler

The NAG Fortran 90 Library (fl90), Release 4 is now also available for the following platform:

  • Intel-64 Linux64 using the Intel 8.0 Compiler

NAG IRIS Explorer, Release 5.2 is now available for the following platform:

  • Apple Power MAC OS X

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