Issue 65, 30 August 2007

In this issue:


Top Story - NAG to train users of the UK's most powerful supercomputer

As reported in previous editions of NAGNews, NAG was recently awarded a contract to support users of the new UK supercomputer, HECToR http://www.hector.ac.uk, a Cray XT4 located at Edinburgh University's Advanced Computing Centre. As part of that service NAG will offer a range of training courses to help users of HECToR get the most out of the system. The programme for the first three months covers topics ranging from getting started on HECToR to improving code performance on distributed memory machines. Although aimed mainly at HECToR users, the courses may be of interest to a wider community. Most will be run at NAG's offices in Oxford, with practical sessions hosted on HECToR itself. Attendance is free for HECToR users and researchers sponsored by one of the research councils EPSRC http://www.epsrc.ac.uk, NERC http://www.nerc.ac.uk or BBSRC http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk. For more details and to register please visit the HECToR Training webpage at http://www.hector.ac.uk/support/cse/schedule.

A unique aspect of the support service NAG will be offering to HECToR users is the ability for them to apply for dedicated support. This support would be for periods of between six months and two years, and is intended to help users port their codes to HECToR and improve the performance and functionality of these codes. The first call for proposals for such support is available here http://www.hector.ac.uk/support/cse/distributedcse/.

There are a number of dedicated email lists for people interested in being kept up to date with HECToR. Details of how to sign up can be found here http://www.hector.ac.uk/news-events/mailing-lists/.


Product News - Maple-NAG Connector benefits the finance industry

The benefits to the finance industry of using NAG's numerical software to build models, analyse data, manage portfolio's and even predict trends in the finance industry is well reported. However, if the development of models takes place within a dedicated software package it's not easy to gain quick access to the extensive functionality available that NAG offers. To enable Maple users quick and easy access to the functionality within the NAG Library, NAG and Maplesoft recently launched an exciting new product ' the Maple-NAG Connector.

On 28 August NAG and Maplesoft gave a webinar to highlight the additional mathematical and statistical facilities available, via the Maple-NAG Connector, to users of Maple. The webinar entitled 'Rapid Financial Model Development using Maple 11 and the NAG Library' was well received and future webinars on the Maple-NAG Connector are planned. Various examples of models were presented by Maple and NAG during the webinar and are available on request by emailing mailto:nagnews@nag.co.uk

More information on the Maple-NAG Connector is available here http://www.nag.co.uk/numeric/MC/MCdescription.asp


General Information - Wilkinson Prize 2007 winner announced at ICIAM

The Wilkinson Prize, given in honour of the outstanding achievements of James Hardy Wilkinson (http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Wilkinson.html) in the field of numerical software, is awarded every 4 years at ICIAM (International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics) to recognise exceptional work in software development.

The 2007 Wilkinson Prize was awarded to Wolfgang Bangerth of Texas A&M University, Ralf Hartmann of DLR Germany and Guido Kanschat of Texas A&M University for the software package 'deal.II' http://www.dealii.org/.

deal.II is a C++ program library targeted at adaptive finite elements and error estimation. It uses state-of-the-art programming techniques to offer a modern interface to the complex data structures and algorithms required for adaptivity and enables the use of a variety of finite elements in one, two, and three space dimensions, as well as time-dependent problems.


Product News ' NAGWare f95 Compiler now available for Apple Intel Mac OS X

The NAGWare f95 Compiler has recently been made available for use on Apple Intel Mac OS X. This key advancement in the range of compiler implementations will enable those working in the Apple Intel Mac environment to take advantage of the features and benefits that the compiler brings.

The NAG compiler supports the Fortran 95 language in its entirety, High Performance Fortran and legacy Fortran 77 code. Originally developed as the world's first Fortran 90 Compiler, the NAG Compiler is robust, thoroughly tested, and incorporates compilation and run-time debugging features that can significantly reduce development time. It also includes features of the Fortran 2003 standard for Allocatable Components and for IEEE Floating Point Exception Handling.


Tips & Hints - Command Line Arguments in NAG Fortran Compiler Code

A common question we are asked is how to access command line arguments in the NAG Fortran Compiler, Release 5.1 code. The compiler provides a wide range of interfaces to Posix functions from built-in modules. In compiler versions up to 5.0 this was done by USEing the appropriate Posix module and calling the GETARG function.

This facility is still available, but standard-conforming intrinsic routines to access command line arguments have been added to the Fortran 2003 language, and these have been implemented in Release 5.1.

Here is an example.

  PROGRAM arguments
    INTEGER, PARAMETER :: max_len = 80
    INTEGER arg_len, i, nargs, status
    CHARACTER(LEN=max_len) :: arg
    ! Get number of argumants
    nargs = COMMAND_ARGUMENT_COUNT()
    CALL GET_COMMAND_ARGUMENT(0,arg,arg_len,status)
    ! Get and print the command name
    IF (status==0) PRINT *,'Command = ',arg(:MIN(arg_len,max_len))
    DO i=1,nargs
       ! Get the i-th argument and print it
       CALL GET_COMMAND_ARGUMENT(i,arg,arg_len,status)
       IF (status==0) PRINT *,'Arg',i,'= ',arg(:MIN(arg_len,max_len))
    ENDDO
  END PROGRAM arguments

This is compiled with the -f2003 option to suppress the Extension messages about the Fortran 2003 features and outputs the command name followed by the arguments supplied.

$ f95 -f2003 cl.f90
$ ./a.out 1 222 33333
Command = ./a.out
Arg 1 = 1
Arg 2 = 222
Arg 3 = 33333

More information about the NAG Fortran Compiler can be found here http://www.nag.co.uk/nagware/np.asp

All previous Tips & Hints can be found in the NAG Tips & Hints Repository at http://www.nag.co.uk/techtips/index.asp.


Forthcoming Events - UK & Germany
  • IMA Conference on Numerical Linear Algebra and Optimisation
    13-15 September 2007, University of Birmingham
    The success of modern codes for large-scale optimisation is heavily dependent on the use of effective tools of numerical linear algebra. On the other hand, many problems in numerical linear algebra lead to linear, nonlinear or semidefinite optimisation problems. The purpose of the conference is to bring together researchers from both communities and to find and communicate points and topics of common interest. This is the first IMA Conference of this theme, and experts from NAG will be present to discuss NAG's extensive numerical functionality in the area of optimisation. For further information visit http://www.ima.org.uk/.

  • The Mathematical Association Secondary Education Mathematics Conference
    15 September 2007, Stirling University
    The Association exists to bring about improvements in the teaching of mathematics and its applications, and to provide a means of communication among students and teachers of mathematics. This conference will provide a forum for those involved in the teaching of mathematics to meet, and NAG is delighted to be supporting it. NAG experts will be available at the event to discuss the use of NAG Schools Excel Add-In http://www.nag.co.uk/n-sea/index.asp, and its use in secondary education. For further information on this conference, visit http://www.m-a.org.uk/.

  • BASTA! Expo
    18-20 September 2007, Mainz, Germany
    Basta! has been established for 10 years, and has become the largest independent conference on .NET in Germany. NAG is delighted to be attending this event and will be on hand to discuss the NAG Library, in particular the .NET subset of routines.

    The new .NET back office consisting of the .NET Framework 3.0, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006 R2, SQL Server 2005 and Windows Server 2003 R2 is in the focus of this year's conference. For more information about BASTA! visit the website at www.basta.net.


Product News - Latest Implementations

NAG is committed to offering new implementations of its broad range of numerical and statistical software components and compilers and tools. The following implementations for NAG products have become available since the last issue of our newsletter:

The NAG Fortran Library (http://www.nag.co.uk/numeric/FL/FLdescription.asp), Mark 21 is now also available for the following platforms:

  • Intel EM64T Windows64 using the Intel Fortran v9.0 Compiler, Double Precision
  • AMD-64 Linux64 using the GNU gfortran Compiler, Double Precision

The NAG SMP Library (http://www.nag.co.uk/numeric/fl/FSdescription.asp), Mark 21 is now also available for the following platform:

  • AMD-64 Solaris 64-bit using the Sun f95 v8.2 Compiler, Double Precision

The NAGWare Compiler (http://www.nag.co.uk/doc/inun/np51.html), Release 5.1 has been re-issued for the following platform:

  • Apple Intel Mac OS X

The Maple-NAG Connector (http://www.nag.co.uk/numeric/MC/MCdescription.asp, is available for the following platforms:

  • x86-32 Windows
  • x86-32 Linux
  • Apple Power MAC OS X
For full details of these and all other available implementations, visit the NAG site. Comprehensive technical details of each implementation are given in the relevant Installation and User Notes at http://www.nag.co.uk/doc/inun.asp
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