The Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software 2015

James Wilkinson

The Wilkinson Prize was established to honour the outstanding contributions of Dr James Hardy Wilkinson to the field of numerical software. It is awarded every four years at the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics by Argonne National Laboratory, the National Physical Laboratory, and the Numerical Algorithms Group. The next prize will be awarded at ICIAM 2015 in Beijing, and will consist of $3000 in cash plus a trophy.

Previous Prize winners:

  • 2011: Andreas Waechter and Carl D. Laird for Ipopt
  • 2007: Wolfgang Bangerth for deal.II
  • 2003: Jonathan Shewchuch for Triangle
  • 1999: Matteo Frigo and Steven Johnson for FFTW.
  • 1995: Chris Bischof and Alan Carle for ADIFOR 2.0.
  • 1991: Linda Petzold for DASSL.


The prize will be awarded to the authors of an outstanding piece of numerical software, or to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to an existing piece of numerical software. In the latter case applicants must clearly be able to distinguish their personal contribution and to have that contribution authenticated, and the submission must be written in terms of that personal contribution and not of the software as a whole. To encourage researchers in the earlier stages of their career all applicants must be at most 40 years of age on January 1, 2014.

Rules for Submission

Each entry must contain the following:

  • Software written in a widely available high-level programming language.
  • A two-page summary of the main features of the algorithm and software implementation.
  • A paper describing the algorithm and the software implementation. The paper should give an analysis of the algorithm and indicate any special programming features.
  • Documentation of the software which describes its purpose and method of use.
  • Examples of use of the software, including a test program and data.

Selection Criteria

The award will be made to the entry that best addresses all phases of the preparation of high quality numerical software. In particular the judges will be focussing on:

  • the clarity of the software implementation and documentation;
  • the importance of the application(s) addressed by the software;
  • the portability, reliability, efficiency and usability of the software implementation;
  • the clarity and depth of analysis of the algorithms and the software in the accompanying paper;
  • the quality of the test software.


The preferred format for submissions is a gzipped, tar archive or a zip file. Please contact us if you would like to use a different submission mechanism. Submissions should include a README file describing the contents of the archive and scripts for executing the test programs. Submissions can be sent by email to Contact this address for further information.

The closing date for submissions is July 1, 2014.