Numerical Linear Algebra Group 2016

The Manchester Numerical Linear Algebra group (some of whom are in the photo below) was very active in 2016. This post summarizes what we got up to. Publications are not included here, but many of them can be found on MIMS EPrints under the category Numerical Analysis.



The group has joined Jack Dongarra’s team at the University of Tennessee to become one of the two partners involved in the development of PLASMA: Parallel Linear Algebra Software for Multicore Architectures.

We continue to make our research codes available, which is increasingly done on GitHub; see the repositories of Higham, Relton, Sego, Tisseur, Zhang. We also put MATLAB software on MATLAB Central File Exchange and on our own web sites, e.g., the Rational Krylov Toolbox (RKToolbox).

Several algorithms have been incorporated in other software packages, such as, from Stefan Guettel, the NLEIGS solver which is now part of SLEPc, the Zolotarev quadrature approach which is now part of the FEAST eigenvalue solver package, and rational deferred correction which is now part of pySDC.

PhD Students

After defending her thesis in March 2016, Nataša Strabić (2012-2016) left in May to take up a position as Teacher of Mathematics at Sevenoaks School, Kent.

Bahar Arslan defended her PhD thesis in December 2016.

Mario Berljafa defended his PhD thesis in November 2016. In September he took up a postdoctoral position in the Department of Computer Science at KU Leuven.

Weijian Zhang spent January-February visiting the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) Lab.

New PhD students Jennifer Lau and Steven Elsworth joined the group in September 2016.

Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRAs)

Pedro Valero Lara and Mawussi Zounon joined us in January 2016 to work on the Parallel Numerical Linear Algebra for Extreme Scale Systems (NLAFET) project. Sam Relton, who had previously been working on the Functions of Matrices: Theory and Computation project, moved onto this project in March.

Jakub Sistek joined us in March 2016 to work on the Programming Model INTERoperability ToWards Exascale (INTERTWinE) project.

Mary Aprahamian (2011-2016) left in May to take up a position as Data Scientist at Bloom Agency in Leeds.

After several years as PhD student and then PDRA, James Hook left in April to take up a fellowship in the Institute for Mathematical Innovation at the University of Bath.

Prashanth Nadukandi joined the group in September 2016, supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship.

Timothy Butters (2013-2016), KTP Associate with Sabisu, has taken up a permanent position as Head of Research & Development with the company following the completion of the KTP in December 2016.

Pedro Valero Lara left in October to take up a position as Senior Researcher on the Human Brain project at Barcelona Supercomputer Centre.

David Stevens joined us in December 2016 to work on the Programming Model INTERoperability ToWards Exascale (INTERTWinE) project.


Members of the group gave presentations (talks or posters) at the following conferences and workshops.

SIAM UKIE Meeting 2016, January 7, 2016, University of Cambridge, UK: Strabic.

Bath–RAL Numerical Analysis Day, January 11, 2016, Didcot, UK: Guettel.

GAMM Annual Meeting, March 7-11, 2016, Braunschweig, Germany: Guettel

SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing, April 12-15, 2016, Paris: Valero Lara, Zhang.

University of Strathclyde SIAM Student Chapter Meeting, Glasgow, May 3, 2016: Higham.

Workshop on Batched, Reproducible, and Reduced Precision BLAS, Innovative Computing Laboratory, University of Tennessee, May 18–19, 2016: Zounon. See the report on the workshop by Sven Hammarling.

ESSAM School on Mathematical Modelling, Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing, Czech Republic, May 29-June 3, 2016: Sistek.

ECCOMAS Congress 2016, Crete, Greece, June 5-10, 2016: Sistek.

Programs and Algorithms of Numerical Mathematics, Czech Republic June 19-24, 2-16: Sistek.

SIAM Annual Meeting, Boston, USA, July 11-15, 2016: Fasi, Higham, Tisseur, Zemaityte, Zhang.

Fifth IMA Conference on Numerical Linear Algebra and Optimization, University of Birmingham, UK, September 7-9, 2016: Gwynne, Relton, Tisseur, Zounon.

GAMM Workshop on Applied and Numerical Linear Algebra, TU Hamburg–Harburg, Germany. September 15-16, 2016: Guettel

4th Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE4), University of Manchester, September 12-14, 2016: Relton.

Chebyshev Day, University of Oxford, UK, November 14, 2016: Guettel.

SIAM Annual Student Chapter Conference, University of Warwick, November 23, 2016: Zhang.

Conference and Workshop Organization

The Manchester SIAM Student Chapter organized their 6th Manchester SIAM Student Chapter Conference on May 4, 2016.

Jakub Sistek was one of the organizers of

Françoise Tisseur was on the organizing/scientific committees of

Mario Berljafa, Jonathan Deakin, Nick Higham, Matthew Gwynne, Mante Zemaityte, and Weijian Zhang organized the Manchester Julia Workshop, September 19-20, 2016 at the University of Manchester. Videos of the talks are available on YouTube.

Jakub Sistek and Maksims Abalenkovs were on the organizing committee of the European Exascale Applications Workshop held here in the School of Mathematics, October 11-12, 2016.


Vedran Sego visited the group until May 2016.

Peter Kandolf visited the group from September 2015 to March 2016.

Tomáš Gergelits visited the group from October 2015 to March 2016.

Meisam Sharify visited the group in September 2016.

Knowledge Transfer

The three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Sabisu (a data analytics platform for the oil and gas industries), involving KTP Associate Tim Butters, Stefan Guettel, Nick Higham, and Jon Shapiro (School of Computer Science) was completed in December 2016. Among other achievements, an alarm management system has been developed and launched as a product.

Recognition and Service

Françoise Tisseur was elected SIAM Fellow.

Stefan Guettel was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the SIAM UKIE section, 2016–2018, and has also taken on the role of vice-chair of the GAMM Activity Group on Applied and Numerical Linear Algebra. He joined the editorial board of the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing in January 2016.

Weijian Zhang won a bronze medal in the SET for Britain 2016 competition, which took place at the House of Commons, London, for his poster “Time-Dependent Network Modelling for Mining Scientific Literature”.

Photo from LMS Newsletter. April 2016. (l to r) Dr Stephen Benn (Royal Society of Biology), Sylaja Srinivasan (Bank of England), Professor Nick Woodhouse (Clay Mathematics Institute), Weijian Zhang (Bronze Award Winner), Dr Philip Pearce (Gold Award Winner), Dr Tom Montenegro-Johnson (Silver Award Winner), Professor Sir Adrian Smith (CMS), Stephen Metcalfe MP

Mario Berljafa won a SIAM Student Paper Prize for his work with Stefan Guettel entitled “Generalized Rational Krylov Decompositions with an Application to Rational Approximation”.

A poster “The Math behind Alarm Redundancy Detection” by Mario Berljafa, Massimiliano Fasi, Matthew Gwynne, Goran Malic, Mante Zemaityte, and Weijian Zhang won a prize in SIAM’s “Math Matters” contest and is featured on the Math Matters, Apply It! website.

Nick Higham served as president-elect of SIAM. He was also elected to Academia Europaea.

Weijian Zhang won a SIAM Travel Award to attend the SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing in Paris in April 2016.

Mario Berljafa, Massimiliano Fasi and Mante Zemaityte were awarded SIAM Student Travel Awards to attend the SIAM Annual Meeting 2016 in Boston. Weijian Zhang represented the Manchester Student Chapter at the meeting.

Jakub Sistek was re-elected in Februrary as treasurer of the Czech Network for Mathematics in Industry EU-MATHS-IN.CZ.