Awarding outstanding achievements in numerical software through the Wilkinson Prize – call for submissions

The Wilkinson Prize 2015 will be awarded at ICIAM, Beijing

27 March 2014 – Every four years the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG), the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Argonne National Laboratory award the prestigious Wilkinson Prize in honour of the outstanding contributions of Dr James Hardy Wilkinson to the field of numerical software. The next Wilkinson Prize will be awarded at the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Beijing, and will consist of a $3000 cash prize.

NAG, NPL and Argonne are committed to encouraging innovative, insightful and original work in numerical software in the same way that Wilkinson inspired many throughout his career. Wilkinson worked on the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) while at NPL and later authored numerous papers on his speciality, numerical analysis. He also authored many of the routines for matrix computation in the early marks of the NAG Library.

The most recent Wilkinson Prize was awarded in 2011 to Andreas Waechter and Carl D. Laird for IPOPT. Commenting on winning the Wilkinson Prize Carl D. Laird, Associate Professor at the School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, said “I love writing software, and working with Andreas on IPOPT was a highlight of my career. From the beginning, our goal was to produce great software that would be used by other researchers and provide solutions to real engineering and scientific problems.

The Wilkinson Prize is one of the few awards that recognises the importance of implementation - that you need more than a great algorithm to produce high-impact numerical software. It rewards the tremendous effort required to ensure reliability, efficiency, and usability of the software. The award is administered by Argonne National Laboratory, National Physical Laboratory, and the Numerical Algorithms Group. Being recognized by experts at these institutions and grouped with the other winners of this prize is indeed a great honour.”

Speaking of the Wilkinson Prize, Dr Mike Dewar, Chief Technology Officer at NAG said, “High quality numerical algorithms underpin much of the software that we all use on a daily basis, yet the skills needed to implement them are rarely given the recognition that they deserve.  With the Wilkinson Prize we seek to redress this balance and celebrate the achievements of talented younger individuals in this area.  We believe that the Wilkinson Prize is unique in that all the software entered is examined and tested by the reviewers, and the award is made primarily on the basis of the quality of the software, its documentation, and its testing regime.”

Details of the Wilkinson Prize including eligibility, rules for submission and selection criteria can be found here.