2015 Wilkinson Prize winners announced

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Source: National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Argonne National Laboratory and the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) will award the 2015 Wilkinson Prize for numerical software to P E Farrell of the University of Oxford, S W Funke and M E Rognes of the Simula Research Laboratory, and D A Ham of Imperial College London for their work on the dolfin-adjoint project.

Dolfin-adjoint is a package which automatically derives and solves adjoint and tangent linear equations from high-level mathematical specifications of finite element discretizations of partial differential equations. These adjoint and tangent linear models are key ingredients in many important algorithms, such as data assimilation, optimal control, sensitivity analysis, design optimisation, and error estimation.

Such models have made an enormous impact in fields such as meteorology and oceanography, but their use in other scientific fields has been hampered by the great practical difficulty of their derivation and implementation. The dolfin-adjoint project aims to solve this problem.

The Wilkinson Prize is awarded every four years in honour of the outstanding contributions of James Hardy Wilkinson FRS, a prominent figure in the field of numerical analysis who worked at NPL for many years. Wilkinson joined NPL's Maths Division in 1946, and went on to work on the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) and conduct seminal research on numerical linear algebra, floating-point error analysis, solution of polynomial equations, and much more.

The 2015 Wilkinson Prize will be awarded at the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) in Beijing in August 2015, and will consist of a $3,000 cash prize.

Previous awards and award venues

  • 2015 prize: Patrick Farrell, Simon Funke, David Ham and Marie Rognes for dolfin-adjoint at ICIAM 15
  • 2011 prize: Andreas Waechter and Carl D Laird at ICIAM 11
  • 2007 prize: Wolfgang Bangerth, Ralf Hartmann, and Guido Kanschat for deal.II at ICIAM 07
  • 2003 prize: Jonathan Shewchuk for Triangle at ICIAM 03
  • 1999 prize: Matteo Frigo and Steven Johnson for FFTW at ICIAM 99
  • 1995 prize: Chris Bischof and Alan Carle for ADIFOR 2.0 at ICIAM 95
  • 1991 prize: Linda Petzold for DASSL at ICIAM 91

Find out more about Jim Wilkinson's work at NPL

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