NA Digest Wednesday, July 15, 1987 Volume 87 : Issue 61

This weeks Editor: Cleve Moler

Today's Topics:


Date: Tue, 30 Jun 87 11:14:08 -0200
From: Axel Ruhe <>
Subject: Private enterprise or the demise of matlab

Matlab is a simple interactive system built up on the LINPACK
and EISPACK routines for matrix computations, which has been
a favourite tool for researchers in this area. Its popularity
depends on three factors: it is there, everybody else uses it, and
it gives easy access to powerful algorithms whose FORTRAN
subroutines are nontrivial to call.

Another reason for the proliferation of Matlab was that it was
public domain, distributed in a chain letter fashion from
University of New Mexico and promoted cheerfully by
Cleve Moler and others. You needed a few hours to get your
neghbours tape to run on your own computer.

But now, when many people are addicted the scene is changing.
The program grows and becomes machine dependent and the
developers decide to make it private domain. They decide that
all distributions should be done directly from them, and that
the program for one machine should not be run on another.

I work on a big school which is well prepared to pay for commercial
software, so this is not my main complaint. My problem is that
there is no dependable distribution any longer. My story is
about the following:
August 86, Cleve asks me if I want the new matlab and I say yes.
Oct 86, letter to Math Works
Winter 86-87, It is found out that MW has only VMS version no
UNIX as we want.
March 87, We order a SUN version since that seemed to be the
ccommon ground when it comes to hardware.
April 87, Now everything operates fast, we exchange telegrams
on different details. (MW are of course not on e-mail).
May 1, I sign multitudes of contracts and promise to pay MW

hell of a lot just to get it.
May 25, Now I get a letter from MWs European agent offering me
matlab at a 20% higher prize. They have yet to learn that
VMS and UNIX are different operating systems.
June 10, Bingo there is a tape waiting in the Swedish customs
but they do not have proper invoices and things from MW
so they cannot decide on whether they should add 23.46%
VAT on what.
June 30, And now the tape is here.

I personally should prefer to see all software public when it
comes to use in research and education. If one feels the need
of making money, and does not have a big commercial user
community around ( Like those FEM engineers), one should state
that from the beginning. We have seen others that have managed
reasonable well at that, say SPARSPAK of Alan George, and SIMNON/
ITPACK from Astrom in Lund, and also distribute on time.

Why not use netlib. It has given us droves of software in few
hours. Or IMSL or NAG which know how to mail tapes.

Axel Ruhe
Department of Computer Science
Chalmers University of Technology
S-41296 Goteborg
Telephone int-46-31721096


Date: Tue, 7 Jul 87 08:22:16 pdt
From: David Scott <>
Posted-Date: Tue, 7 Jul 87 08:22:16 pdt
Subject: Position At Intel Scientific Computers

The Applications Research Group at Intel Scientific Computers
is seeking an expert in numerical analysis and mathematical software.
The position is permanent and is available immediately.

Applicants should have:

A PhD. in Mathematics, Computer Science, or an application area.

Experience in numerical computation and FORTRAN programming.

Experience with parallel computing in general and the Intel hypercube
in particular is valuable but not required.

The job consists of:

Performing research on the characteristics and the performance of
Intel Hypercubes.

Presentation of results at meetings and in professional journals

Function as expert users in interactions with the engineering and
marketing departments

Provide limited consulting services to chosen external software

Anyone interested in this position can contact me at

David S. Scott

Phone: (503) 629-7676


USmail: Intel Scientific Computers
15201 NW Greenbriar Pkwy
Beaverton, OR 97006

Intel is an equal opportunity employer.


Date: 12 July 1987, 17:03:50 IST
To: NA list < >
From: Danny Hershkowitz <>
Subject: Fourth Haifa Matrix Conference

The Fourth Haifa Matrix Conference - First Announcement.

We are planning to run the Fourth Haifa Matrix Conference at the
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, on January
4-6, 1988.

We hope that a substantial group of interested mathematicians will
attend the conference, although it is unfortunately unlikely that we
shall have funds to help with expenses since at present there is no
budget for the conference. The organizers will be glad to help find
accommodation and to assist with the local arrangements.

Please let us know soon whether you can attend the conference.
Also, we would appreciate it if you could share the above information
with collegues of you who might be interested in the conference.

Sincerely yours,

Abraham Berman Daniel Hershkowitz Leonid Lerer


e-mail address: MAR23AA @ TECHNION (bitnet).

Letters Address:
Mathematics Department
Technion - I.I.T.
Haifa 32000


Date: Tue, 14 Jul 87 12:05:20 +0200
Posted-Date: Tue, 14 Jul 87 12:05:20 +0200
From: Syvert Norsett <norsett%vax.runit.unit.uninett@NTA-VAX.ARPA>
Subject: 7-POINT-STAR

I am working with problems from oil simulation. In that connection we are
interested in solving linear systems coming from the use of the 7-point
star. My question is: What is done for vector machines in that case. In other
words, direct solvers for almost symmetric seven-diagonal matrices. All
information is welcome!
Send information to : norsett@vax.runit.unit.uninett


Date: Tue, 14 Jul 87 13:09:01 PDT
Subject: Computational Math at SIGGRAPH
To: NA@SCORE.STANFORD.EDU, sym-list%smu.csnet@RELAY.CS.NET

Environments for Computational Mathematics
Special Interest Group Meeting @ ACM SIGGRAPH Conference
Thursday, July 30, 1987, 1:15pm - 4:30pm
Pacific Room A, Anaheim Convention Center (Los Angeles, California)

1:15-3:45pm: 10 Talk/Demos, 15 minutes each

1. "The MathCad System: a Graphical Interface for Computer Mathematics",
Richard Smaby, MathSOFT Inc.

2. "MATLAB - an Interactive Matrix Laboratory", Cleve Moler, MathWorks

3. "Milo: A Macintosh System for Students", Ron Avitzur, Free Lance
Developer, Palo Alto, CA

4. "MathScribe: A User Interface for Computer Algebra systems", Kamal
Abdali, Tektronix Labs

5. "INFOR: an Interactive WYSIWYG System for Technical Text" , William
Schelter, University of Texas

6. "Iris User Interface for Computer Algebra Systems", Benton Leong,
University of Waterloo

7. "CaminoReal: A Direct Manipulation Style User Interface for
Mathematical Software", Dennis Arnon, Xerox PARC

8. "Domain-Driven Expression Display in Scratchpad II", Stephen Watt,
IBM Yorktown Heights

9. "Internal and External Representations of Valid Mathematical
Reasoning", Tryg Ager, Stanford University

10. "Presentation and Interchange of Mathematical Expressions in the
Andrew System", Maria Wadlow, Carnegie-Mellon University

4:00-5:00 pm Panel Discussion: Integrated Documentation/Computation
Richard Fateman, University of California-Berkeley [MACSYMA Algebra
system developer]
Richard Jenks, IBM Yorktown Heights [Scratchpad Algebra system
Michael Spivak, Personal TeX [Mathematician, author of "The Joy of TeX"]
Ronald Whitney, American Math Society [Head of Composition Dept at the

5:00-10:00 pm Open Demos and Discussions

For further information, contact:

Dennis S. Arnon
Computer Science Laboratory
Xerox PARC
Palo Alto, California 94304
(415) 494-4425


End of NA Digest