Author Archives: Nick Higham

A Mathematician Looks at the Collins English Dictionary

I have several dictionaries on my shelf, among which is a well-thumbed Collins English Dictionary (third edition, 1991). Earlier this year I acquired the thirteenth edition (2018). At 26.5cm high, 20cm wide, and 6.5cm deep, and weighing approximately 2.5kg, it’s … Continue reading

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Better LaTeX Tables with Booktabs

One of the joys of is that it makes it so easy to typeset tables. I’ve created many tables and I’ve always taken care to fine-tune them, most often by inserting commands of the form \rule{0cm}{8pt} to stop superscripts hitting … Continue reading

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What’s New in MATLAB R2019a and R2019b?

I didn’t have time earlier this year to write about the first MATLAB release of 2019, so in this post I will discuss R2019a and R2019b together. As usual in this series, I concentrate on the features most relevant to … Continue reading

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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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