Category Archives: news

Numerical Algorithms for High-Performance Computational Science, Royal Society, London, April 8-9, 2019

This 2-day scientific discussion meeting is being held at the Royal Society, London, UK, and is organized by Jack Dongarra, Laura Grigori and Nick Higham.

The programme consists of invited talks and contributed posters. The invited speakers are

  1. Guillaume Aupy, INRIA Bordeaux
  2. Erin Carson, Charles University, Prague
  3. George Constantinides, Imperial College
  4. Steve Furber, FRS, University of Manchester
  5. Mike Heroux, Sandia National Laboratories
  6. Tony Hey, Science and Technology Facilities Council
  7. David Keyes, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
  8. Doug Kothe, Director of the DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP)
  9. Satoshi Matsuoka, RIKEN Center for Computational Science, Tokyo
  10. Tim Palmer, FRS, Oxford University
  11. Jack Poulson, Hodge Star Scientific Computing, Toronto
  12. Anna Scaife, University of Manchester
  13. John Shalf, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  14. Rick Stevens, Argonne National Laboratory
  15. Michela Taufer, University of Delaware
  16. Kathy Yelick, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,

The deadline for submission of poster abstracts is Friday March 1, 2019 (extended from Monday 4 February 2019).

Attendance is free, but places are limited and advance registration is essential.

For more information, including the programme and registration, see

Research Associate in Numerical Linear Algebra Group – 2 posts

The Numerical Linear Algebra Group at the University of Manchester is seeking two Research Associates to work with Professor Nick Higham on developing and analyzing numerical linear algebra algorithms for current and future high-performance computers.

Topics for investigation include linear equations, linear least squares problems, eigenvalue problems, the singular value decomposition, correlation matrix problems, and matrix function evaluation. This work will exploit multiprecision arithmetic (particularly the fast half precisions available on some recent and forthcoming processors) and techniques such as acceleration and randomization. It will involve using rounding error analysis, statistical analysis, and numerical experiments to obtain new understanding of algorithm accuracy and efficiency.

One of the posts is associated with Professor Higham’s Royal Society Research Professorship. The other post is associated with the EPSRC project Inference, Computation and Numerics for Insights into Cities (ICONIC), which involves Imperial College (Professor Mark Girolami), the University of Manchester (Professor Nick Higham), the University of Oxford (Professor Mike Giles), and the University of Strathclyde (Professor Des Higham).

The closing date is February 11, 2019. For the advert and more details see here.


Beyer Chair in Applied Mathematics

The School of Mathematics is seeking to appoint an outstanding mathematical scientist to the Beyer Chair in Applied Mathematics.

The Beyer Chair is a senior professorial position in Applied Mathematics, established in 1881 by an endowment from the industrialist Charles Frederick Beyer.

Applicants will have a distinguished track record of research in one or more areas of Applied Mathematics, defined in its broadest sense, and will play a leading role in the life of the School, by providing inspiring leadership in research, and also through appropriate teaching and service activities.

The closing date is March 22, 2019. For advert and more details see here.

NLA Group Talks at SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering 2019

Members of the Numerical Linear Algebra Group will be giving nine presentations at the upcoming SIAM Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) conference. They are also organizing the two-part minisymposium Advances in Analyzing Floating-point Errors in Computational Science.

The conference will be held at the Spokane Convention Center, Washington, USA, from 25th February to 1st March, 2019.

Here are the dates and times where members of our group will be giving their talks:

Tuesday 26 February
9:45 – 10:05 Sven Hammarling
Standardization of the Batched Blas

Wednesday 27 February
9:45 – 10:05 Theo Mary
A New Approach to Probabilistic Roundoff Error Analysis
14:15 – 14:35 Pierre Blanchard
Algorithm Based Error Analysis for Mixed Precision Matrix Factorizations

Thursday 28 February
8:45 – 9:15 Jack Dongarra
SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering: The Singular Value Decomposition: Anatomy of an Algorithm, Optimizing for Performance
9:45 – 10:05 Françoise Tisseur
NLEVP: A Collection of Nonlinear Eigenvalue Problems 
10:35-10:55 Steven Elsworth
The Rational Krylov Toolbox
14:15 – 14:35 Nick Higham
Exploiting Half Precision Arithmetic in Solving Ax=b
15:05 – 15:25 Jack Dongarra
Experiments with Mixed Precision Algorithms in Linear Algebra
16:10 – 16:30 Mawussi Zounon
Distributed Tasking in the PLASMA Numerical Library

Friday 1 March
9:45 – 11:25 Srikara Pranesh
Domain Decomposition Method for High Dimensional Stochastic Systems

More information on CSE19 is available here.

Numerical Linear Algebra Group Activities 2018

The Numerical Linear Algebra Group, many of whom are in the October 2018 photo below, had a busy year. 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.

As well as the new group members mentioned below, Stephanie Lai joined the group in September as Executive Assistant to Nick Higham. Stephanie, who holds an MMath degree from the University of Manchester, helps to maintain this website, which launched this autumn. Martin Lotz left the group in August 2018 and is now an Associate Professor at The University of Warwick.



Together with Jack Dongarra’s team at the University of Tennessee the group is one of the two partners involved in the development of PLASMA: Parallel Linear Algebra Software for Multicore Architectures.

PhD students Weijian Zhang, Steven Elsworth and Jonathan Deakin continued to develop Etymo—a technology for developing knowledge graphs, including Etymo Scholar, a discovery engine for AI research.

We make our research codes available as open source, principally on GitHub; see the repositories of Connolly, Fasi, Higham, Liu, PraneshRelton, Sego, Tisseur, ZhangZounon.

We also put MATLAB software on MATLAB Central File Exchange and on our own web sites, e.g., the Rational Krylov Toolbox (RKToolbox).

PhD Students

We welcomed new PhD students Michael Connolly, Xiaobo Liu, and Conor Rogers.

Weijian Zhang successfully defended his PhD on Evolving Graphs and similarity-based Graphs with Applications in October 2018.

Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRAs)

Theo Mary joined us in January 2018 to work jointly on the ICONIC project.

Mawussi Zounon, who was working on the Parallel Numerical Linear Algebra for Extreme Scale Systems (NLAFET) project, moved over in November 2018 to the position of KTP Associate in a three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership with NAG.

Jakub Sistek returned to the Czech Academy of Sciences after the completion of the project Programming Model INTERoperability ToWards Exascale (INTERTWinE).

Prashanth Nadukandi completed his Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship in September 2018 and is now a Technical Advisor in Advanced Mathematics at the Repsol Technology Lab, Móstoles, Spain.

Maksims Abalenkovs completed his work on the EPSRC project SERT: Scale-free, Energy-aware, Resilient and Transparent Adaptation of CSE Applications to Mega-core Systems.

Presentations at Conferences and Workshops

UK and Republic of Ireland Section of SIAM Annual Meeting, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, January 11, 2018: Blanchard, Nadukandi.

Waseda Research Institute for Science and Engineering Institute for Mathematical Science Kickoff Meeting, Waseda University, Tokyo, March 6, 2018: Higham.

SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, March 7-10, 2018: Hammarling, Higham, Mary, Zounon.

Conference on Scientific Computing and Approximation, Purdue University, March 30-31, 2018: Higham.

SIAM Conference on Applied Linear Algebra, May 4-8, 2018, Hong Kong Baptist University: Elsworth, Güttel, Zemaityte.

Structured Matrix Days 2018, May 14-15, 2018, ENS Lyon, France: Mary, Tisseur.

Mathematical Modelling, Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing, Kácov, Czech Republic, May 27-June 1, 2018: Higham, Tisseur.

International Conference on Approximation and Matrix Functions, May 31 and June 1, 2018, Université de Lille, France: Güttel.

Bohemian Matrices and Applications, University of Manchester, June 20-22, 2018: Higham.

International Supercomputing conference (ISC18), Frankfurt, June 24-28, 2018: Hammarling, Zounon.

10th International Workshop on Parallel Matrix Algorithms and Applications (PMAA18), June 27-29, 2018, ETH Zurich: Zounon.

6th IMA Conference on Numerical Linear Algebra and Optimization, June 27-29 2018, University of Birmingham: Blanchard, Mary, Tisseur.

SIAM Annual Meeting, Portland, USA, July 9-13, 2018: Blanchard, Higham, Tisseur.

JuliaCon 2018, London, August 7-11, 2018: Higham.

Sparse Day Meeting 2018, September 26-27 2018, Toulouse, France: Mary.

Conference and Workshop Organization


Recognition and Service

    • Nick Higham gave the Samuel D. Conte Distinguished Lecture at the Department of Computer Science, Purdue University, USA, in March 2018.
  • Massimilano Fasi was presented with the SIAM Student Chapter Certificate of Recognition 2018.

Other Notable Tweets

Theo Mary awarded the Gilles Kahn prize

The Gilles Kahn prize was awarded to Theo Mary for his PhD thesis Block Low-Rank multifrontal solvers: complexity, performance, and scalability (PDF here). The thesis was prepared at the University of Toulouse, France and co-supervised by Patrick Amestoy and Alfredo Buttari. Theo is currently a Research Associate in the Numerical Linear Algebra group.

The Gilles Kahn prize is awarded each year by the SIF, the French Society of Computer Science, for an excellent PhD thesis in the field of computer science. 

In the thesis, Theo investigated the use of low-rank approximations inside direct, factorization-based methods to reduce the computational cost of the solution of large, sparse systems of linear equations. His work included theoretically computing the asymptotic complexity reduction achieved by these methods and implementing them on parallel computers to translate this theoretical reduction into significant performance gains on both shared- and distributed-memory architectures. The potential and efficiency of these methods was assessed on several industrial applications, notably ones arising in geosciences and structural mechanics.

The official award ceremony will take place at the SIF congress (February  6-7, 2019, in Bordeaux). Theo has also been invited to present his work to the entire scientific community at the SIF congress.

Theo Mary

Weijian Zhang Awarded PhD for Work on Evolving Graphs

Congratulations to our PhD student Weijian Zhang for being awarded his PhD, which was supervised by Nick Higham. We asked him a few questions about his thesis.

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your experience before attending University of Manchester?
I was born in Liaoning, China and studied fine arts at the Fine Arts High School Affiliated to China Central Academy of Fine Arts. I graduated with a First Class MMath degree at the University of Manchester in 2014.

What is your thesis on?
My thesis title is “Evolving Graphs and similarity-based Graphs with Applications“. We look at ways to traverse an evolving graph. In particular, we examine the influence of temporal information on node centrality. In the process, we developed EvolvingGraphs.jl, a Julia software package for analysing time-dependent networks. We also developed Etymo Scholar, a search system for discovering interesting research papers.

Why did you choose to study your PhD in Manchester?
I was interested in doing something that relates to both maths and computer science. Numerical Linear Algebra looked like a perfect fit for me. I was very fortunate to be able to join Professor Nick Higham’s research group, which is a world-renowned research group in Numerical Linear Algebra.

How did you find Manchester?
Manchester is a vibrant city and the University of Manchester offers fantastic support for research students. All in all, it is a great place for doing research.

What’s your next step?
I have just joined Conversocial, a leading social customer service solution provider, as a Machine Learning Engineer / Data Scientist in London.

Weijian Zhang
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