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Technical news, white papers, tips & hints and other news from NAG

NAGnews 160


International Womens Day banner

We usually publish NAGnews on a Thursday. Today, to highlight International Women's Day, we have changed our send date. Better the Balance. Better the World.

In this issue:


Supporting International Women's Day - what are we doing?

The 2019 International Women's Day theme 'Better the balance. Better the world' also applies to any workforce. NAG is striving forward in its mission to improve its own workforce diversity, encourage girls and women into technology, and support equality in general.

How are we doing this?

We are a proud Chapter of Women in HPC - NAG was the first company to gain Chapter status; we visit schools via our Schools Outreach Program to encourage girls (and boys) to consider taking their love of maths into further education and beyond; NAG colleagues are active STEM Ambassadors who are doing great 'hands-on' work guiding children at Coding Clubs; we've introduced a Blind Recruitment process to help remove unconscious bias, and speaking up on diversity issues at staff meetings. We are proud to support #IWD2019 #BalanceForBetter

Photo taken by Avel Shah @avlien, official IWD19 photos, licenced from EyEm - 20% of the licensing fees for using this image today is being donated to the International Women's Day Charity of Choice, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).


Webinar: How the POP project achieved a 3x speed improvement for a zCFD solver

Tuesday 12 March 2019 | 14:00 GMT

zCFD by Zenotech is a density based finite volume and Discontinuous Galerkin (DG) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver for steady-state or time-dependent flow simulation. It decomposes domains using unstructured meshes. It is written in Python and C++ and parallelized with OpenMP and MPI. This webinar will describe the work that POP and Zenotech undertook to investigate the performance of zCFD. An initial Performance Audit using Intel's VTune Amplifier performance profiler identified several areas of potential improvement, which Zenotech went on to address in a POP Proof-of-Concept (PoC) study. As a result of the PoC, zCFD ran 3x faster on a representative input case.

This webinar will cover: An introduction to POP's performance analysis methodology; How Intel VTune was used to gain performance insights; The modifications made to zCFD as a result.

Register to attend the webinar

The webinar is based on this Case Study. NAG is a Partner in the EU Performance Optimisation and Productivity (POP) Project

A Zombie Apocalypse - 2018 TakeAIM Awards

The 2018 TakeAIM Awards were recently held at Imperial College, London. For some time now NAG has sponsored these student awards and David Sayers, NAG Honorarium is one of the judges on the panel. The awards aim is to "highlight the crucial role mathematics plays in solving real-world problems while rewarding the academic exploration of future innovators who undertake pioneering research."

The 2018 winner is Emma L. David, a student at The University of Warwick for her work "A Zombie Apocalypse" whose research "combines data with equations that describe how some of these diseases are transmitted, aiming to predict outcomes and guide policy. For example, by considering the villages affected during the first 2018 DRC Ebola outbreak as interacting populations, we estimated the probability of disease spreading to the major capital, Kinshasa, before it had been controlled. Focusing on diseases that affect tropical developing countries, I use mathematical models to simulate the impact of different measures on transmission and investigate how we can best allocate resources as we drive these diseases towards extinction".

Huge congratulations to Emma for winning the award, and to all the runners-up.


Celebrating the centenary of the birth of James H. Wilkinson

29-30 May 2019, The University of Manchester

This international workshop, organised by The Numerical Linear Algebra Group at the University of Manchester, focuses on numerical linear algebra (NLA) and will bring together researchers working in NLA to discuss current developments, challenges in the light of evolving computer hardware and the changing needs of applications.

2019 is the centenary of the birth of James Hardy Wilkinson, FRS and Turing Prize winner (1970). Wilkinson developed the theory and practice of backward error analysis, particularly in the context of NLA, and produced detailed analyses of algorithms and software implementing those algorithms. He worked with Turing at NPL in the 1940s, and took over the development of the Pilot ACE computer when Turing left NPL. Wilkinson's legacy endures and one of the aims of the workshop is to take stock of what has changed in error analysis since Wilkinson's era and to discuss current challenges and ways to approach them.

This workshop is open to all and is free to attend. For more information and to register click here:


Out & About with NAG

Exhibitions, Conferences, Trade Shows and Webinars

NAG is sponsoring and speaking at various Quant Finance events over the next few months. As sponsors we get a number of discount vouchers. The events are listed directly below. Contact us for the vouchers, and we look forward to seeing you at the events.

XVA Conference
London, 13-15 March 2019

Machine Learning & AI in Quantitative Finance Conference
London, 20-22 March 2019

Machine Learning & AI in Quantitative Finance Conference
New York, 3-5 April 2019

Women in Quantitative Finance Americas Conference
New York, 11 April 2019

The Trading Show
Chicago, 8-9 May 2019

Quant Minds International
Vienna, 13-17 May 2019

In addition to the Quant events above where we have discount vouchers, NAG is delighted to be participating at the


Fortran Modernization Workshop and Technical Talks at The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
Reading, 1-2 April 2019

Fortran Modernization Workshop
University of Manchester, 4-5 April 2019

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

PyCon 2019
Cleveland - OH, 1-9 May 2019


Best of the Blog

Diversity at NAG - A 3-year Update

Three years ago, our first diversity report on workforce gender was published at SC15, at the same time I was just starting my new role at NAG. A lot can change in three years so to coincide with us becoming a Women in HPC Chapter we decided to revisit that data, see what's changed and what we need to work on going forward. Read the blog.