By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
New Hampshire has not produced enough food to feed itself since 1809, mostly because our main crop is rocks, making mowing lawns perilous. Saturday, I mowed a newly emerged rock. The impact jolted loose a bolt holding together the drive control assembly, which then fell apart. Now I have jars of bolts, but the Fates were not done toying with me: Not one of the hundreds of bolts saved for emergencies fit. That law of nature is routine in application design. You have a bunch of toolboxes filled with specialized mathematics components, but not the component you never knew you’d need. No longer, thanks to the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG).
The NAG Toolbox for MATLAB is a single source for more than 1,300 mathematical and statistical algorithms from the NAG Library. It integrates with MATLAB readily, making world-class Bessel functions, linear and quadratic optimizations, multivariate methods, nonlinear equations, random number generators, PDEs, and functions that are so specialized that you never imagined that you’d find them ready for you when you actually do need them. For that matter, the NAG Toolbox for MATLAB includes a number of algorithms that just aren’t available in other commercial MATLAB toolboxes.
An especially cool part of the NAG Toolbox for MATLAB is its interactive documentation. Not only does the Toolbox contain in-depth information, but it helps you pick the right algorithm for the job quickly. It also includes example MATLAB code showing you how to call the NAG routine. You can learn more about that in today’s Pick of the Week write-up, where you can find links to product demos showing you all about this. You’ll also find a link in the write-up to a fully functional trial download.
NAG has been a leader in the development of software components for mathematics, modeling, optimization, statistics, visualization, and data mining since before a lot of you were born — 1970, to be precise. It is always popping up somewhere mind-blowing, such as with HECToR, the UK’s new high-end computing resource located at the University of Edinburgh’s Advanced Computing Facility. There, NAG now provides computational science and engineering support to the project after years of benchmarking technical selections. (Look for the link at the end of today’s write-up for more on NAG and HECToR.)
And mind-blowing expertise like that sums up the NAG Toolbox for MATLAB, which holds more precision components that will increase your application prototyping productivity than anything I know of. Considering that outfits like Argonne, CERN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Lockheed-Martin rely on NAG algorithms, I assume that I’m not alone in that assessment.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine