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A H I STO RY O F N A G


The NAG idea The idea to build a numerical algorithms library collaboratively from within university resources came to me in February 1970. It would meet the immediate needs of Nottingham, Oxford, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham Universities, and SRC Research Centre at Chilton. And in the event much else besides. Virtually from the outset we received practical support in the form of numerical algorithms and software from the numerical analysis community worldwide. Our mentor was Jim Wilkinson, the assistant to Alan Turing in building the Pilot Ace computer. Jim always supported and helped the young, when they showed promise. And I was young once. He gave us his invaluable numerical linear algebra software, and his contacts. Our key ideals were voluntary collaboration and quality in every phase of the activity. To build the library, we needed the best algorithms in the various subfields of thirty areas of numerical mathematics and statistics – expressed in high quality software, conforming to computer language standards; supported by carefully prepared user documentation; with each algorithm selected on the basis of performance in solving test suites. For each phase of the activity, we needed standards. Wherever possible, these were computerbased. This led to our involvement in language standards, arithmetic standards, portability standards. It’s wonderful being new in a field such as scientific computing – it gives you so much freedom. We also worked well together and worked extremely hard. Brian Ford Founder Director


An early NAG logo

13 May 1970 – NAG (Nottingham Algorithms Group) is born! A collaborative project based at Nottingham University with the goal of designing, documenting and testing high-quality numerical software

October 1971 sees the NAG Library, Mark 1 release featuring approximately 90 routines During the 1970s the NAG Library continues to grow with three more Marks in five years


The NAG 1970s

n was The overall biggest contributio for e bas to create a reliable shared of set ic scientific computing – a bas on, ed end software that could be dep of much that covered the basic needs that would s, of classic numerical analysi lving set evo an improve over time and on major a n bee of platforms. NAG has also al tion rna inte contributor to important and 90 standards, including Fortran IEEE arithmetic. t, Stuart Feldman, Vice-Presiden gle Goo , Engineering

NAG Founder Director, Brian Ford

James Hardy Wilkinson – NAG was born under James Wilkinson’s mentoring of the founder director, Brian Ford. NAG’s Oxford office is named after the eminent mathematician

An ICL KDF9, as used by Jim Wilkinson


The NAG 1970s

First non-ICL NAG Library implementations appear – a ground-breaking event in portable numerical software

Early NAG literature

Interest in the NAG Library grows from industry and internationally NAG moves from Nottingham, UK to Oxford in August 1973 – the ‘N’ in ‘NAG’ becomes ‘Numerical’, rather than ‘Nottingham’ Early NAG literature


The NAG 1970s

Brian Ford, Steve Hague

Brian Ford and Brian Smith, Oxford 1975

First NAG Inc office


The NAG 1970s

NAG Ltd incorporated on 18 March 1976 in order to meet growing demand beyond academia for access to NAG software Formed as a not-for-profit company (a status that it still retains) to encourage spirit of collaboration to continue NAG Inc established in 1978 to meet growing demand in North America

Mike Hooper, Lesley Brankin

David Sayers

Steve Hague, Brian Ford; IFIP WG 2.5 Meeting, Oxford (1975)


The NAG 1970s

NAG early in my career at the I have fond memories of visiting y Road. Meeting with friendly old central office on the Banbur ussions both about software and people, having fascinating disc e gramming (not at all the sam about numerical/scientific pro ter nea = rters (more sterile topic). The move to the new qua coincident with a shifting also and flatter) was a big plus g group to a broad producers role from a central coordinatin did not change was the quality in scientific computing. What their drive to make the life of and passion of the people and antage of the newest and scientists better, and to take adv e field. best results in the math softwar ad - I’ve worked in compilers, My own interests are quite bro e some scientific computing and helped numerical analysts, don of touched on many other areas kibitzed a lot more of it, plus the on ship ber mem and to NAG the computing sciences. Visits ed form my own views of the help tee mit Com cy Technical Poli and the key roles of an expert evolving computing landscape . pany in the global ecosystem community and specialized com my g stin inve d (an AGM g at the High points included speakin dinners chez Ford, and great py hap y man ), pound sterling involvements with many of the meetings of the TPC and long s of the core NAG world NAG staff as well as member ly focused on my interest in My own involvement original ysics research; this expanded Fortran and in my own astroph . rests in arithmetic and algebra over the years to general inte ful use y ver computing, it was As I moved into other areas of sic scientific community. clas the to reference the needs of panel of a major review of the I was recently a member of the ed y of the issues we have discuss UK’s e-science program. Man at now am projects we saw. I over the years were implicit in urces of a different sort but reso nal Google, with computatio y imagine 30+ years ago. Yet man also of a magnitude I did not ain. rem computing at scale of the old problems of reliable t, Engineering, Google Stuart Feldman, Vice-Presiden


A new NAG logo is designed

In 1980, NAG Ltd becomes financially self-supporting The first meeting of the NAG Users Association was held in 1981

Another portability first‌ the multi-platform, multi-package, NAG Graphics Library launched in 1982


The NAG 1980s

Kevin Day, Gareth Hudson

Tim Nash, Robert Morrell, John Piper,Katrina Jenkins, Christie Arnsten, Karen Pitcher, Susan Ing, Shirley Surridge

A Cray-1


The NAG 1980s

Release of the first partially vectorized implementation of the NAG Fortran Library (Cray-1) in 1983 NAG Technical Policy Committee established and held first meeting in 1985

David Sayers, Diana Grace, Lesley Brankin

Pilot implementations in Ada project begins in 1985 funded by European Union (EU) Fortran software tools project begins in 1984, funded by UK Alvey initiative

David Sayers, Susan Ing


The NAG 1980s

A NAG christmas party

1980s exhibition stand

NAG staff at an exhibition

Brian Ford, Steve Hague, Gareth Hudson


The NAG 1980s

Brian Ford, Founder Director of NAG, awarded OBE in 1989 in ‘recognition of outstanding services to British industry and research’

Collaboration in the LAPACK linear algebra project begins 1987

Fortran Library manual

Members newsletter, 1987


The NAG 1980s

Brian Ford awarded OBE

Joan Walsh, Sven Hammarling, Jerzy Wasniewski

Peter Samuels, Sven Hammarling, Steve Hague Ian Hounam, Steve Hague, Robert Iles, Wayne Cowell, Malcolm Cohen


The NAG 1980s

Brian Ford

Margaret Day, Brian Ford

NAG staff photo from an Oxford Journal article ‘The Numerical Algorithms Group’ 10 Years On


The NAG 1980s David Hartley (seated), James Ellis MEP, Mrs Heather Wilkinson

Opening of Wilkinson House, July 1989


The NAG 1980s

Ada Europe Working Group, Brussels

Gatlinburg Meeting in Oxford, 1981


The NAG 1980s

Graham Hodgson, Brian and Gill Ford

Cricket match between NAG staff and MCS at Argonne


The NAG 1980s

James Davenport

Opening of Wilkinson House North

Lawrie Schofelder, Jim Pool, Brian Ford


The NAG 1980s

Sven and Pam Hammarling

Sven Hammarling, Emmanuel Vergison

NAG Inc staff (and Steve Hague)

Fritz Bauer, Jim Wilkinson


NAG expands further into Europe with the opening of NAG GmbH, Germany in 1990

NAG’s first set of routines in C is launched in 1990, The NAG C Library, Mark 1


The NAG 1990s

hms Cray and the Numerical Algorit fruitful and Group have enjoyed a long we and rs, relationship for many yea s to tion tula gra sincerely extend our con es, loye emp the organization, and to its ’s NAG y. in honor of its 40th birthda fit company ethos as a not-for-pro agement man its organization paired with keys the n bee focus on core skills have n ofte an in y to its successful longevit . lace ketp hostile and unforgiving mar rs yea e mor We look forward to many we wish of ongoing collaboration and best in the the NAG team nothing but the future. CEO, Cray Peter Ungaro, President and

NAGWare promotional photo

NAGWare promotional photograph

Brian Ford


The NAG 1990s

New NAG product launches of:

    

NAGWare Fortran Tools, Release 1 NAGWare f90 Compiler, Release 1 IRIS Explorer, Release 3 The NAG Parallel Library, Release 1 AXIOM (symbolic solver system), Release 1

iversary. I wish NAG a happy 40th Ann y man for NAG with Having worked ently sist con os eth ir the years, I find the te ura acc lity, qua est results in the high and es pos pur cial spe for algorithms both of set sive hen pre com ely for the extrem vide pro t tha s tine rou advanced library lications. the base for many essential app rs of yea her furt y man to I look forward so! ter Wei on. rati fruitful collabo Professor Uwe Naumann, Head of Software and Tools for up, Computational Engineering Gro RWTH Aachen University

BCS Award to Malcolm Cohen of NAG for his outstanding work on the NAGWare f90 Compiler


The NAG 1990s

Malcolm Cohen receiving BCS award

orithms May I wish the Numerical Alg sary. My Group a happy 40th Anniver n that own recent experience has bee thoroughly NAG’s numerical routines are from the documented and easy to call of my own Maple environment. For one n needs, particular finance optimizatio more valid NAG proved more flexible and vided with than some of the routines pro tions. general purpose maths applica , Professor Eliezer Z. Prisman ineering Eng ial Director of the Financ iness, Bus of ool Program, Schulich Sch o ont York University, Tor


The NAG 1990s

Major new Marks of NAG’s principal Library products continue to be released – in keeping with NAG’s commitment to continued enhancement First availability of LAPACK routines in 1992

productive NAG and Intel have enjoyed a last the r ove ship working relation high lity -qua high to 15 years leading Our s. arie libr al eric performance num team L) (MK ary Libr nel Intel® Math Ker their on NAG te tula gra con is delighted to hes wis t bes our r offe and 40th birthday for the future. r, James Reinders, Intel Directo ts duc Software Development Pro

Advert launching the world’s first f90 Compiler

First C Library advert

LAPACK users guide with NAG staff contributors


The NAG 1990s

te NAG Fujitsu would like to congratula y. hda birt h on the occasion of its 40t an yed Fujitsu and NAG have enjo ship excellent collaborative relation joint our t over many years to suppor NAG’s d foun customers. We have always their and lity software to be of high qua l. iona approach to be very profess ct, Dr Okuda, Executive Archite s Unit, tion Solu ing put Technical Com ited Fujitsu Lim

Jeremy Du Croz, Robert Iles, Steve Hague

Gareth Shaw, Bode Meduoye, Alan Brown, George Levy, Stef Salvini, Shah Datardina, Jeremy Du Croz, Zahair Maany, Mishi Derekshan, Richard Brankin


The NAG 1990s

NAG Website launched in 1993

John Reid and Alison Reid

Nihon NAG KK (formerly IRIS Explorer Center Japan) formed in Tokyo, 1996

Sven Hammarling

Rob Meyer, Brian Ford


The NAG 1990s

Brian Ford, Kate Jackson

Susan Shayler, Katrina Jenkins, Eleanor Hudson, Kate Jackson

Margaret Day, Graham Hodgson

sary – Wishing NAG a happy anniver es it mak ary Libr NAG I find that the l ona rati ope plex com easy to solve puter com le ltip mu on s blem research pro k for the platforms. It provides a bed-roc g the udin incl els, mod ed icat most sophist t tha ers solv rix mat rse best large spa I know. Andrew Koh, Research Fellow, , Institute for Transport Studies University of Leeds


The NAG 1990s

Bo Einarsson

Chuck Lawson, Optimization Chapter (E02)

Chris Sennett, Sue Bond, Writer of first Algol 68 Compiler, and Gill Ford at RSRE Malvern


The NAG 1990s

for AMD has collaborated with NAG d soli ’s nearly 10 years. With NAG h mat er understanding of comput and broad experience in the high stry, performance computing indu Core D together we’ve built the AM ely wid a Math Library (ACML) into lity, qua for used product recognized accuracy, and performance. Frank Gorishek, Director of Applications and Infrastructure, AMD

Doris Pool

Geoff Hayes, NPL Optimization Chapter (E02)

John Rice, IMSL Advisor


The NAG 1990s

Christina Stetter, John Rice, Nancy Rice

Peter Kemp, Brian Ford, David Benco


The NAG 1990s

Movern Gentleman, Patrick Gaffney

Margaret Wright, NYU and SIAM, Contributor to Optimization Chapter (E04)

LAPACK working meeting, Ayers Hall, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


The NAG logo further evolves

NAG and AMD collaboration formed with release of the co-developed AMD CoreMath Library

In July 2004, Brian Ford retires as Director of NAG after 34 years of service. President of NAG Inc, Rob Meyer becomes CEO of the NAG Group


The NAG 2000s

Rob Meyer, CEO (2004 – present)

Mick Pont, Mike Dewar

Stewart Andrews and Susan Shayler

Mick Pont, Anne Trefethen


The NAG 2000s

NAG Library continues to evolve and expand with Fortran Library Mark 21, C Library Mark 8 and SMP Library Mark 21 releases

NAG Ltd awarded Investors in People standard in March 2006 – retains this accreditation status in 2009

NAG advertisement in Scientific Computing World

‘Make life easier’ marketing campaign


The NAG 2000s

h NAG On behalf of SAP I want to wis success. ed another 40 years of continu the in ful NAG has been very success tomers cus sts global marketplace and boa in es that are among the best nam cting, finance, engineering, oil prospe and ign scientific research, chip des have to sed software. We are very plea are we NAG as a client of SAP and ent in SAP confident that NAG’s investm l its fue Business ByDesign will help tnership par the future growth. We value look and that we have established beneficial forward to a long and mutually relationship. Mike Hooper, Andrew Quick

Rachel Foot, David Carlisle, Mike Dewar

nt of Mark Oakey, Global Vice Preside n esig ByD s ines Bus Sales for SAP

NAG Inc staff


The NAG 2000s

John Deaker and wife, Fiona Racher, Jake Hurley, Spanish distributor, Ian Ried

Giovanni (Lasertec), David Burridge, Louise Mitchell, Anne Gyldenkaerne, Hans Joerge Mรถhring, Lucio Vittori

Anne Trefethen, Tony Nilles

Brian Smith, Rick Guido


The NAG 2000s

NAG distributor – Oxford Tour

Francis Iles

Hans Joerge Möhring, David Burridge, Andrew Giles

CSC distributor: Stewart Andrews, Robert Morrell


The NAG 2000s

Steve Hague, NAG’s first employee, joining NAG in 1971, retires from his position as Chief Operating Officer of NAG Ltd in June 2007 NAG launches new connector product, the NAG Toolbox for MATLAB in April 2008

Steve Hague, Peter Kemp

Two new prototype products launched in 2009 – the NAG Library for .NET and NAG Numerical Routines for GPUs Serving the needs of Greater China, NAG opens office in Taiwan in November 2009

Steve Hague, Linda Hefele, Richard Field


The NAG 2000s

Brian Smith at the Maui HPC Center

Caltech; Brian Ford, Jim Pool, Paul Messina, Director MCS Argonne

A gathering of mathematical minds


The NAG 2000s

Jeanette Moré, Jorge Moré

Jim Pool

Lloyd Fosdick, contributed first software tools

Richard Field, Gill Ford, Brian Ford


The NAG 2000s

NAG Inc Board Members 2004: Rob Meyer, Peter Kemp, Steve Hague, Brian Ford, Brian Smith

Sven Hammarling, Jeremy Du Croz, Jack Dongarra


The NAG 2000s

40th Congratulations to NAG on its ing und reso birthday. NAG has had a nce elle exc reputation for numerical 40 year and innovation throughout its ellent exc an history. NAG’s software is ors cess pro n complement to Intel’s Xeo and l Inte why in HPC solutions, which is the in r the toge NAG have worked closely NAG ing see past. We look forward to hitectural take advantage of the new arc to the ing enhancements Intel is mak ing com the Xeon processor family in years. nager, High Richard Dracott, General Ma zation, Performance Computing Organi l Inte up, Gro rise Digital Enterp Peter Kemp, Rick Guido and other NAG Inc colleagues

NAG Inc staff, 2004


The NAG 2000s

Wilkinson House ground floor during the refurbishment

We wish NAG a happy 40th birthday. NEC and NAG have enjoyed many years working together serving our joint customers. Fumihiko Hisamitsu, General Manager, HPC Division, NEC

Wilkinson House reception after the refurbishment


The NAG 2000s

NAG signs the largest deal in its history – to provide CSE support to the supercomputing facility, HECToR

Offical HECToR launch


The NAG 2000s

Nihon NAG staff – Tsunetaka Watanabe, Takayoshi Hata, Hiromu Chiba, Keiko Aoyama, Seiji Sugiyama

Ian Reid with a client at a trade show

reaching NAG’s is to be congratulated on achievement its 40th year – a remarkable erical given the many changes in num hardware, software, and the underlying ntained over this period. NAG has mai t and is position in the developmen ware by soft al eric num of tion distribu ations of the providing reliable implement regular best numerical algorithms, with usion incl updates of the algorithms and art of new ones as the state of the of the advances. Manchester was one of NAG, founding university partners e that so it is particularly appropriat The collaborations between NAG and going University of Manchester are litated from strength to strength, faci by the presence of the new NAG Manchester office. Nicholas J. Higham, FRS lied Richardson Professor of App earch, Res of r ecto Mathematics; Dir ics, School of Mathemat r The University of Mancheste


NAG’s past and present success would not have been possible without the outstanding efforts of its staff, from the inception, through the next four decades and to the present day. We recognise and thank all below for their contributions as NAG staff. Aaltonen, Roope Adam, Charlotte Adamovich, Linda Adams, Rachel Aid, Sihacene Alesi, Dorothy Allard, Jean Allen, Wendy Alm, Barney Anderton, Peter Anton, Lucian Andrews, Stewart Aoyama, Keiko Armstrong, Chris Arnold, Yvonne Arntsen, Christie Aromolaran, Ade Arora, Nikki Arthur, Shelley Asaturyan, Souren Ashdown, Kenneth Atta, Naeem Austen, Lesley Austin, Gail Bagnall, Sarah Bandy, Ian Banecki, Grzegorz Barker, Lindsey Barlow, Gilly Barnes, Alan Barnes, Janet Barnes, Cat Barrett, Denise Barrett, Tracy Bartlett, Alister Basman, Stephen Batsel, Lee Beauchamp, Sophie Begum, Shamim Bello, Abdul Benco, David Bennett, Lynne Bentley, Janet Berryman, Philip Beynon, Sheila Boardman, Joan Bolwan, Sandra Bouhamou, Nadir Bourdillon, Nicola Bowden, Michele Boyd, Ian Brankin, Richard

Brankin, Lesley Brent, Erin Broadbery, Pete Brookes, Philip Brooks, Sarah Brown, Rose Brown, Alan Brown, Jimmy Brown, Maria Bryans, Jason Burgess, Terry Burnett, Margaret Burridge, David Bush, Ian Butler, Paul Butterworth, Andrew Byng, Martyn Byrne, Fiona Byrne, Julie Cadel, Alison Cadogan, Audrey Campbell, Julie Caplin, Barry Cappleman, Jennie Carlisle, David Carr, David Cassell, David Cassier, Francois Caswell, Sheila Chabbali, Marwan Chadwick, Isabel Chakkera, Vasu Chelson, John Chen Zhao, Jean Chiba, Hiromu Chou, Edward Chung, Adrian Churches, Jim Clay, Emma Cliffe, Roger Cole, Anthony Coles, Valerie Colley, Samantha Conway, Gerry Conway, Carol-Anne Cook, Adrian Cook, Guy Cook, Vicki Cornali, Del Corning, Richard Cox, Christopher Crampton, Andrew

Cross, Mat Cullum, Stephen Curtiss, Geoff Dal Porto, Richard Datardina, Shah Davie, Paul Davies, Cliff Day, Kevin Day, Margaret Derakhshan, Mishi Desai, Dina Desitter, Arnaud Dewar, Mike Du Croz, Jeremy du Toit, Jacques Dudley, Julia Duell, Alan Dukes, Charles Dunlop, James Dunstan, Martin Durkin, Daniel Dyson, Robert Eagle, Matthew Earthrowl, Simon East, Lorraine Elfert, Mathias Erl, Miodrag Eschenbach, Christina Esteves, Nicolas Evans, Ray Fagan, Angela Fagan, Sharon Fallen, Nancy Fant, LaDonna Faulkner, Sarah Jane Fear, Emily Featherstone, Gloria Fenton, Nathaniel Fernando, Vince Ferrara-Kurth, Kierith Fiala, Jan Field, Nicholas Fleming, Iain Flores, Hector Flynn, Elaine Foers, Caroline Foot, Rachel Foote, Amanda Ford, Brian Forrest, Gerald Forster, Margaret Fox, Sarita

Fraley, Chris Friedli, Claire Fry, Yvonne Fry, David Ganev, Peter Gann, Annette Gardner, Peter Garstang, Judith Gay, Alan Geary, Michael Gelder, Gwyneth Gerke-Bonet, Roger Ghazikhanlan, Jenia Gibson, Jon Giles, Andrew Gillespie, Daniel Gillis, Bernadette Gladwell, Ian Gleghorn, Linda Glen, Catherine Godwin, Kathy Gomez, Teresa Goodall, Karen Grace, Diana Grant, Ian Grantham, Claire Griffin, Alison Guido, Ricky Gyldenkaerne, Anne Hague, Steve Haley, Francesca Halsall, Gary Hammarling, Sven Han, Richard Hanks, Suzanne Hardman, Emma Harnden, Phillip Harris, Ute Harrison, Beverley Hartwell, Hilary Harvey, Vilya Hasegawa, Atsuko Hata, Takayoshi Hayes, Liz He, Fang Hefele, Linda Henno, Ludovic Henstock, Stuart Hill, Pamela Hodgson, Graham Holden, John Holloway, Gary

Holme, Carl Holmes, Robert Hookway, Julia Hooper, Mike Hopwood, Duncan Horwood, Stephen Hounam, Ian Hudson, Eleanor Hudson, Gareth Hufford Giglello, Brenda Huggett, Myo Hughes, Karen Hurley, Jake Hurley, Stephen Iba, Toshio Iles, Frances Iles, Robert Ing, Susan Innocent, Paolo Isanski, Edmund Jackson, Norma Jackson, Kate Jenkins, Angela Jenkins, Katrina Jones, Andrew Jupe, Elizabeth Justen, Lutz Kaas, Unn Kail, Margit Kane, Anna Kanjo, Haruko Kanjo, Haruko Karslake, Brenda Kawasaki, Takako Keady, Grant Keaty, Peter Kemp, Richard King, Linda Kingsland, Bryony Kirkup, Stephen Knapp, Karl Knight, David Knowles, Anne Kobayashi, Tadahito Koblas, David Kohring, Gregory Koncka, Elizabeth Krommer, Arnold Krzysztofik, Marcin Kwiczala, Anna Kyam, Jeff


La Venture, Christina Lai-Sheung, Mo Lambert, Trevor Langdell, Stephen Latour, Katja Lawson, Michael Le Hyaric, Antoine Leggatt, Stephanie Levy, George Lewis, Karen Lewis, Helena L’Excellent, Jean-Yves Li, Ning Light, Sharon Lipinski, Thaddeus Liu, Ted Loveless, Anne Lucas, Cormac Lucas, Craig Luczak, Richard Ludlow, John Ludovic, Henno Maany, Zohair MacDonald, Ken MacDougall, Christine MacGregor, John MacKenzie, Emma Mahmood, Nadjm Mallett, Lynne Maniopoulou, Asimina Mathers, Christian Mathews, Claire Matsuda, Mitsunori Mayes, Peter McGettrick, Michael McInnes, Ian McKeever, Kevin Meduoye, Bode Meharg, Ian Mehmen, Mehmet Meikle, Ian Melling, David Merry, Graham Meyer, Rob Middleton, Sarah Milligan, Julia Milligan, Sarah Mitchell, Louise Mitchell, Paul Mitsuda, Mitsumuri Modica, Michael Mohns, Cynthia

Mohseninia, Mohsen Moloney, Lisa Mooney, Sarah Moré, Jeanette Moreno Maza, Marc Morgan, Crispin Morgan, Geoff Morrell, Robert Morrissey, John Mortimer, Phillip Motohashi, Yuko Moul, Babs Moule, Hugo Moyniham, Vince Muite, Benson Mulholland, Lawrence Munday, Jayne Munday, Nicola Murphy, Caroline Myers, Shirley Nadeem, Sarfraz Naisby, Sarah Nakagome, Miho Nakano, Go Nash, Tim Naylor, William Ng, Anthony Nilles, Anthony Nivesse, Vivien Nolan, Godfrey Nugent, Stuart O’Brien, Carl O’Brien, David Luke O’Hare, Katie Ohya, Masami Oldfield, Robin Oliver, Sandra Omoboya, Adebola O’Neil, Rosemarie Onizawa, Makoto Orchard, Mary Ozawa, Michiko Pain, John Palmer, Paula Panda, Pradut Papara, Athanasia Parker, Ian Parker, Nik Paver, Adrian Pavey, Suzanne Payne, Julian Payne, Vanda

Payne, Rachel Pearson, Stephen Pearson, Suzanne Peckman, Kurt Peckover, Kim Pellissier, Valene Pengelly, Mark Pennington, Victoria Phillips, Emma Pighills, Helen Pinkstone, Susan Piper, John Pittlekow, Yvonne Pont, Mick Pool, Jim Powers, Richard Purvis, Kevin Qui, Yiqi Quick, Andrew Qyqalla, Albert Racher, Fiona Ramirez-Andres, Mila Ramzan, Akhtar Ransom, Marcus Rassinot, Isabelle Reeves, John Reid, Josie Reid, Ian Ren, Yuhe Richardson, Mike Richardson, Patricia Richardson, Mark Ridgway, Lisa Ridley, Phil Rivas, Jane Roberts, Sarah Roberts, Tim Roberts, Paul Robinson, Guy Roetzel, Christian Ruiz, Luis Ruppenthal, Erwin Rushby, Andrew Russel, Ian Rutter, Maureen Ryan, Thomas Saedi, Forooz Salvini, Stefano Samuel, Peter Sanders, Fiona Santander Webb, Luz Sasaki, Keishi

Sayers, David Scadeng, Valerie Schmidt, Kathleen Schrier, Kevin Seaman, Gregory Sedgwick, Richard Senda, Akiko Serban, Sorin Shaw, Gareth Shayler, Grace Shayler, Susan Shea, Brian Sherwin, Helena Shibata, Naoki Siemienuich, Jerzy Silver, Katie Simpson, Howard Sims, Therese Skinner, Robert Smith, David Smith, Jacqueline Smith, Jennifer Smith, Carol Smith, Greg Smyth, Edward Snape, Diana Soufian, Majeed Stalenska, Karen Stalewski, Andrew Stanley, Valerie Stathis, Konstantinos Steenman-Clark, Lois Stepek, Karen Stevens, Robert Stockton, Dawn Sugiyama, Seiji Surrage, Shirley Swindells, Neil Taafee, Susan Tallet, Richard Tamiz, Mehrdad Tan, Ed Taylor, Geoffrey Taylor, Debbie Thomas, Lance Thomas-Constantino, Tracie Thompson, Kevin Thomson, Chris Tong, Robert Townsend-Green, Caroline Trefethen, Anne Trinder, Keith

Tsikas, Themos Turner, Sarah Uemura, Shuhei Utsunomiya, Yoko Valtisiaris, Diane Van Hoeij, Mark Van Maanen, Astrid Varley, Ruth Vaughn, Sallie Vivien, Nivesse Vo, Alexander Walker, David Walter, Mary Walton, Jeremy Ward, Nick Warson, Richard Watanabe, Tsunetaka Waters, Arlon Weir, Cameron Welding, Janet Wen, Jim Wenger, Joyce West, Michael White, Chris Whitmore, Richard Williams, Margaret Willis, Elizabeth Wilson, Gavin Wilson, Miles Winter, Linda Wittman-Hohlbein, Martina Wong, Jessica Wood, Jason Woodhams, Paul Wright, Sarah Wright, Thomas Yearling, David Yudong, Sun Zan, Jenna Zurawski, John

We’ve tried our very best to list every NAG employee. If any are missing, please accept our apology.


Messages from NAG chairmen

The NAG project has survived through a period of enormous change in computing since 1970, but the objectives from its early days can be traced throughout its history. A major influence in the first years was the Computer Board, which promoted collaboration among university computer centres by providing standard equipment and encouraging the staff to share their expertise. The first group of NAG contributors in 1970 were enthusiastic for the idea of a software library, and the first edition was produced amazingly quickly. But the essential follow-up was to consolidate the project by establishing high standards for software, documentation and testing, an activity not always appreciated by people who liked writing programs but were less keen on tidying them up. This vital development was promoted with tact and resolution by Brian Ford and his colleagues in other universities. In this phase there were numerous problems with imperfect compilers, ill-defined interfaces with operating systems, and the effects of word-length, and the work was a great education in software engineering for the early contributors. Many compilers and machines have come and gone since then; one lasting feature for NAG is that it still uses the word Fortran, which some people wanted to abolish 20 or 30 years ago. Another important influence on the project was the emergence of comprehensive mathematical algorithms, starting with the Handbook on Linear Algebra in 1970 (Wilkinson and Reinsch). This had the aim of setting standards for the precise definition of mathematical methods and their scope. It became clear that general software would be used in a vast range of applications, and would depend on an energetic community of testers and critics to achieve high reliability. NAG has always encouraged and benefited from user groups. Of course the NAG Council was deeply concerned with many organizational matters after the incorporation of the company in 1976. The customer base expanded greatly beyond the

universities, the staff were established in North Oxford, and overseas links were promoted. But with all the transformations there is still a basic framework of collaborative development, meticulous software engineering, and an interest in seeking the best “state-of-the-art” methods. I hope this will continue for a long time yet. Joan Walsh NAG Chairman (1976–1986) The Computer Board, that much revered body of the 1970s and 1980s, funded not only university computing services but was also a force for innovation in both the software and networking arenas. The Board was instrumental in the early establishment of NAG and, as one of its members, I found myself drafted to represent the Secretary of State for Education and Science on the NAG Council in 1979. Joan Walsh was then the founder Chairman and when she retired in 1986 and, with a bit of arm twisting, I agreed to succeed her pleading a serious lack of knowledge of numerical analysis. One of the most important key issues that exercised the Council was the formal introduction of sales and marketing. Some thought that the appointment of a sales and marketing manager would damage the cultural relationship between NAG and the academic community. How things have changed! But the culture has more shifted than changed, and it is remarkable to see how NAG continues to thrive while retaining its not for profit status but with a very different attitude to product development and marketing. After 12 years I stepped down as Chairman, but remained a Council member until 2006 when my successor, Richard Field, and I made ourselves redundant by reforming the Council’s structure. David Hartley NAG Chairman (1986–1996)


Messages from NAG chairmen

I am very happy to be asked to write something about NAG on the occasion of the 40th Birthday celebrations. I well remember meeting Brian Ford for the first time in 1972 when he presented the embryo NAG to an ICL group which I was associated with when I worked at the Building Research Establishment. Unfortunately the Library was not then available outside the Universities. Our paths crossed again when I was asked to “look after” NAG’s interests for the Computer Board and an early task was to arrange for the NAG company to be set up in roughly its present form. I stayed involved over the years firstly through the NAG Users Group and then as a member of the Board. It was an honour to be asked to serve as Chairman following in the footsteps of Joan Walsh and David Hartley. NAG has always prided itself on the quality of its products, software initially and now the support service for Hector, and on the friendliness of its staff, policies developed by Brian Ford and Steve Hague and now being carried on by Rob Meyer. I wish everyone well for the next many years of NAG’s existence. Richard Field NAG Chairman (1996–2006) Recently someone asked me if I had been involved with NAG from its beginning. Given I was only seven or eight at the time of NAG’s birth I was a little taken aback by the question. But the person asking the question was even more taken aback to hear that NAG was about to have its 40th anniversary. It is an incredible achievement and one certainly to be celebrated. I do feel I grew up with NAG, as an undergraduate using the libraries, a graduate collaborating with NAG, then later in life an employee of the company. I was delighted and privileged to join the Council in 2004 and then to become the Chair of the newly formed Board.

For me one of the most important aspects to NAG has always been the people it attracts; the staff, many of whom over the years have become close friends, and the collaborators who have been willing to share their own algorithms, codes and experiences. It is this NAG community who I feel have been fundamental to the success of the company and I feel lucky to be a part of it – I hope to be so for many years to come. Anne Trefethen NAG Chairman (2006–2009) Happy 40th birthday! It has been a tremendous privilege (and a lot of fun) to have collaborated with NAG over all my working career, from early days in 1975 as implementor of the Fortran library on a CDC Cyber 72 at University of Leicester, through the birth of the NAG Graphical Supplement, and on to IRIS Explorer. There are many things that make NAG unique, but an especially nice one is the warm NAG family that Brian, Steve and now Rob have worked hard to engender over the years. The NAG ‘brand’ has remained synonymous with high quality throughout its 40 years, a tribute to all the staff past and present, and all the contributors. It is an honour to be acting as Chairman of the Board as the 40th birthday of the NAG project approaches, and no little responsibility to be following in the footsteps of my predecessors, Joan Walsh, David Hartley, Richard Field and Anne Trefethen – who steered the board so well over the past 40 years. So… many happy returns, NAG, and best wishes for the next 40 years! Ken Brodlie NAG Chairman (2009–present)


Message from Steve Hague

Having spent all my working life in NAG until my retirement in 2008, I should be well placed to reflect on NAG’s eventful journey over four decades. Without question, two key ingredients that have enabled NAG to reach its 40th anniversary have been an abiding emphasis on quality and a willingness to co-operate. But, when I think of other factors that might also have played key roles, they might be less clear to me precisely because I have been in the “thick of things� all those years. What is evident is that, crucially, NAG has succeeded in steering an often complex path between stability and change; seeking to preserve the very best of past practice but recognizing the critical need to adapt to changing times, especially in the world of IT. And now, two years on, do I have any new searing insight into the challenge of navigating that path in the future? Not really, but what does remains abundantly clear to me that, even if we do not fully understand why, NAG has been and remains something special. Because the current NAG team believes that too, I am confident about the future, and I wish NAG all the very best as the journey continues. Steve Hague Retired Director


Message from Brian Ford

When the group of us met in Nottingham on the 13th May 1970 it was clear that we had a shared purpose – to provide a numerical library to our local computer users. The needs of the local users were paramount in our thinking. Fortunately we were naturally collaborative and recognised the importance of building materials of lasting quality from the outset. In these characteristics we were encouraged and supported by Jim Wilkinson and Leslie Fox, and by the individual directors of our own computing centres. Although we planned initially from within our own resources, we quickly appreciated that if we were to achieve our objective of a balanced and tested general purpose numerical algorithms library we needed to involve knowledgeable numerical analysts, numerical mathematicians and computational statisticians internationally. Computational science was in its infancy and needed the algorithmic power to grow. And it had to be the best we could provide; carefully selected, tested, and consistently documented for use. The challenge was widened by the demands of computational environments with different word-lengths, arithmetic, computing language dialects and operating systems.

This led to recognition of the problems of algorithmic and software portability and their solution through scalable numerical algorithms and portable numerical software. Our work affected computing language and computer arithmetic design. Above all we attracted the interest and involvement of hundreds of numerical mathematicians, computing scientists and software implementors into our project. Invariably the people were and remain the most important element. Not only did we build the initial library but we have now nurtured and evolved it for over 38 years too! And created a methodology with the necessary tool suite and support to facilitate this development. Forty years on, NAG still seeks to serve users with the library (and the Company’s experience) in the scientific and technical computing community. Quality in every aspect remains integral. Collaboration and co-operation continue as guiding principles in our work and relations. And that vital community spirit, within the Company and with all our collaborators and contacts provides the ambiance in which we work together and I trust it will persist for many years to come. I wish NAG every possible success in the years ahead. Brian Ford Founder Director


NAG’s Senior Management Team on the furture of NAG, 13 May 2010

Technology is notoriously hard to predict but some things are clear: there will be more data; there will be an increasing need to find answers more efficiently in terms of energy, materials and human time. The need to understand what has happened, what might happen next and the optimal answers to the things we can control will still drive NAG and our users. And while we don’t know what the architecture, processor count or even the physical location of those processors we can be confident that we will be making the software that enables our users to find the answers they seek. Rob Meyer CEO Many-core computing, in whatever form, will be a huge challenge for software developers and users throughout this decade. NAG intends to be at the forefront with quality numerical software and services to help our partners meet the challenge. Ian Reid Chief Commercial Officer

Our industry is going through an unprecedented period of technological change and our software needs to evolve accordingly. This will involve the development of new algorithms, the adoption of new programming paradigms, and the identification of new mechanisms for delivering functionality to our users. A small organisation like NAG cannot hope to develop all this capability on its own but, by working in collaboration with our wide network of friends in academia, we can continue to deliver innovative and relevant software and services to our users. NAG was originally founded as a collaborative project, and that spirit of being an integral part of the international research community remains as critical to our success now as it was forty years ago. Mike Dewar Chief Technology Officer

To support the many challenges our industry will face in the future NAG will embrace innovative technologies to maintain its world class reputation for quality. We will continue to encourage sustainable business policies and in doing so, we will provide a platform that promotes the welfare and creativity of our staff, collaborators, business partners and the community. NAG is proud to offer a unique environment that allows for continuous development of its staff ensuring it recruits and retains the very best of talent. This rich and diverse talent offers unparalleled level of support to our users delivering the products and services they need which is as paramount today as it was 40 years ago. Our vision into the next decade is to be universally recognized as the preferred source for computational software products and services and the preferred partner for collaboration. Susan Shayler Chief Operating Officer


NAG’s current senior management team: Rob Meyer, Ian Reid, Mike Dewar, Susan Shayler


NAG and the NAG logo are registered trademarks of The Numerical Algorithms Group All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged Š The Numerical Algorithms Group 2010


40 Years of NAG Scrapbook