Issue 53, 13 April 2006

In this issue:


Top Story - NAG expands Mac OS product offering with new implementation of the Parallel Library

NAG is committed to providing its products for a wide range of platforms and programming environments and is delighted to announce that the NAG Parallel Library is now also available for Apple Mac. The Parallel Library joins a whole host of NAG products that are available for Mac users, enabling those who program using the Mac to access NAG's globally renowned numerical libraries.

The NAG Parallel Library has been developed to allow users to easily run their applications on distributed memory parallel machines and clusters. The interfaces have been designed to be as close as possible to equivalent routines in the NAG Fortran Library in order to ease the parallelisation of existing applications. Internally the NAG Parallel Library uses the standard Message Passing Interface (MPI), but the details are hidden so that users themselves do not need to know MPI in order to use the Library. The Library has a number of utility routines, such as input/output routines, that also aim to ease the use of parallel machines.

The NAG Parallel Library is aimed at typical applications required by industrial, commercial and research environments. Many of the routines were initially tested in industrial environments as part of a European project (PINEAPL), led by NAG. Industrial partners in PINEAPL included Piaggio, British Aerospace, Thomson LCR, IBM SEMEA and the Danish Hydraulic Institute.

To learn more about the NAG Parallel Library, visit our website at http://www.nag.co.uk/numeric/fd/FDdescription.asp


General Information - Schoolzone evaluates NAG Schools Excel Add-In

The NAG Schools Excel Add-In (N-SEA) product was released during 2005 and since then it has benefited many students and teachers in improving the functionality of Excel. Schoolzone, the largest teacher research community in the UK, recently evaluated N-SEA and we are delighted to report that the review of the product was as positive as we expected it to be.

The reviewer commented, “The facility for sampling is fantastic. You can specify what sort of sampling you require: random, stratified or systematic. You can also decide whether you want a specific sample size or a percentage of the raw data. Simply indicate the range of data to be sampled and at the click of a button it will produce the sample on a new datasheet.

This package would be a huge benefit for tackling the GCSE coursework. All the time-wasting involved in collecting the data and organising it into frequency tables can be avoided. The facility for drawing the diagrams is far more straightforward than the standard Excel functions. Your only choices are those relevant to the statistics, with the added bonus of the box and whisker diagram.”

To read the full evaluation, visit the Schoolzone website.

N-SEA has received approval from the UK government agency, Curriculum Online, and can be purchased by qualifying UK educational institutions from NAG using eLearning Credits. For more information on N-SEA and to read how the product is benefiting students at Wallingford School, visit http://www.nag.co.uk/n-sea/index.asp


General Information - Prestigious Max Planck Institutes choose NAG

A number of Max Planck Institutes in Germany renewed and extended their relationship with NAG to give the scientists, researchers and post grad students who work and study there access to all of NAG's numerical libraries, compilers and tools.

The esteemed Max Planck Society (http://www.mpg.de/english/aboutTheSociety/index.html) is regarded as being at the forefront of scientific exploration and is devoted to cutting-edge research. Researchers at the Society's institutes need to have implicit trust in the numerical software underpinning their work and therefore chose NAG as their provider of these vital components because of NAG's unrivalled capabilities and functionality.

This agreement provides several Max Planck institutes with a selection of NAG's highly regarded numerical libraries, including Fortran, Fortran 90, C, and Data Mining Components as well as the NAGWare f95 Compiler. Through the agreement, researchers at the Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, the Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, the Institute for Solid State Research, the Institute of Microstructure Physics, the Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences and the RZG Institute will receive new releases of the software as they become available. These regular updates will ensure that researchers at the institutes have continual access to the world's most trusted and accurate numerical algorithms. In addition, researchers can benefit from the unrivalled support provided by the NAG experts who created the software.

To read the full news item visit http://www.nag.co.uk/Market/articles/prmaxplanck.asp


NAG Customer Survey - make your views count!

As part of NAG's commitment to R&D and customer service, NAG customers will be receiving a user survey over the next few weeks to help us understand user activity and requirements in more detail.

However, if you are not a current NAG user, but you still actively program and would like to carry out the survey, please email us at nagnews@nag.co.uk and we will ensure that you receive a copy of the survey when it is distributed.


Tips & Hints - NAG Statistical Add-Ins for Excel

The Statistical Add-Ins for Excel have proved very popular amongst the Excel community. A key benefit is the facility to automatically update results when data changes. This is achieved by delivering computed results as an Excel array function. Some users find that the standard Microsoft mechanism for using array functions is too complicated since users have to select all the cells they want to contain the results and also users must press 'control-shift-enter' rather than just 'enter'.

The macro below may be used to simplify this procedure. Simply call the NAG function as you would with a normal scalar function. When this macro is made available by opening the workbook containing the macro, call the macro from the Tools\Macro\Macros menu. The cell selected on the worksheet should contain the result from the NAG Add-In and look like <List of n>, where n is an integer. The macro will expand this scalar result to the full array result, using just the right number of worksheet cells.

To put this macro into a workbook, click on the Tools\Macro\Visual Basic menus. In the Visual Basic window, click on the Insert\Module menus. Paste the macro into this module and close the Visual Basic window. Save the workbook.

If you want the macro to be available automatically whenever you use Excel then the workbook created should be called Personal.xls and should be located in the Office\Xlstart directory. This will be automatically opened whenever Excel starts. If you want to hide this workbook then it may be hidden using the Hide option in the Windows menu.

Sub Expand()

Dim s As String, t As String
Dim n As Long

  s = Selection.Cells(1).Value
  t = Selection.Cells(1).Formula
  n = Len(Trim$(s))
  s = Left$(s, n - 1)
  s = Right$(s, n - 1 - 9)
  n = Val(s)
  Range(Selection, Selection.Offset(n - 1, 0)).Select
  Selection.FormulaArray = t

End Sub

For more detailed product information on NAG's Statistical Add-Ins for Excel and to sign up for a free trial, please click here http://www.nag.co.uk/stats/ae_soft.asp or email us directly at nagnews@nag.co.uk

All previous Tips & Hints can be found in the NAG Tips & Hints Repository


Events - UK & France

April and May are very busy months in NAG's event calendar!

  • Association of C/C++ Users (ACCU) Conference - 19 - 22 April 2006, Oxford
    NAG is delighted to be presenting at this event and will have experts available to discuss recent work in the area of C# and .NET. The ACCU Conference 2006 gives software professionals the chance to hear about the latest ideas in software development. The technical programme has an emphasis on C++, Agile methods and Python, while also addressing the wider development environment. To register for the conference, visit the organiser's website at http://accu.org/index.php/conferences/2006.

  • British Applied Mathematics Colloquium 2006 (BAMC) - 24 - 27 April 2006, Keele University
    NAG will be attending the BAMC event at Keele University to inform attendees of recent product enhancements, in particular the NAG Library, Mark 21. Speakers at the colloquium include professors from the Max Planck Institute, the Ecole Polytechnique, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Universities of Utah, Glasgow and Cambridge. To view the presentation topics, visit http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/ma/bamc06/plenary.html.

  • Global Derivatives and Risk Management - 8 - 12 May 2006, Paris
    NAG's involvement in the finance areas of derivatives and risk management is relatively well known with many of the world's most prestigious finance institutions relying on NAG software for their numerical computation. We are delighted to be exhibiting at Global Derivatives and Risk Management where we will be on hand to discuss how NAG's products can dramatically enhance application development time and reduce maintenance costs. For more information on this event visit http://www.icbi-uk.com/globalderivatives/.

    Further information about NAG in finance can be found here http://www.nag.co.uk/main_finance.asp

  • New Directions in Financial Modelling Seminar & Workshop - 22 - 25 May 2006, London
    NAG is delighted to be attending the 'New Directions in Financial Modelling' Seminar & Workshop series, which includes a seminar on 23-24 May focusing on 'Recent Developments in Financial Modelling & Portfolio Planning'. There is also a separate workshop on 22 May entitled 'Financial Innovation & New Structured Products in the Equity World' and complimentary a software demonstration day on 25 May.

    For more details of this event or to request an invitation to the complimentary software demonstrations day please visit the event organiser's at http://www.unicom.co.uk/finance or email them at info@unicom.co.uk.

  • Embedding ICT in Mathematics Teaching Roadshows
    NAG is pleased to support a programme of UK regional roadshows to enable educators to meet and spend time exploring new products for embedding ICT (information, communication and technology) in mathematics teaching. There is a large range of material that has been developed to support the use of ICT by mathematic teachers - much of it is/was government funded and some of it is free. For more information on the roadshows, visit the organiser's website at http://www.m-a.org.uk/roadshows/.


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 as detailed below.

The NAG C Library, Mark 8 is now also available for the following platforms:

  • X86-32 Linux (ACML) using the gcc 3.2.2 Compiler
  • AMD-64 Linux64 using the gcc 3.2.2 Compiler
  • SGI MIPS 32-bit using the MIPSpro 7.41 Compiler
  • Intel-32 Windows DLL using the MS Vis C++ Compiler

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

  • Apple Power MAC OS X using the NAGWare f95 Compiler
  • Itanium Linux64 using the Intel Fortran v8.1 Compiler
  • IBM Power 5 Linux64 using the xlf v10.1 Compiler

The NAG Parallel Library, Mark 3 is now also available for the following platform:

  • Apple Power Mac OS X using the gcc 2.4.5 Compiler

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

  • Itanium Linux64 using the Intel Fortran v8.1 Compiler

Managing your subscription

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To subscribe, unsubscribe or learn more about managing your subscription, please see: http://www.nag.co.uk/NAGNews/index.asp.

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