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Rice Scientist Earns Wilkinson Prize

Source: Rice News, August 20, 1995

Rice research scientist Alan Carle '92 with the Center for Research on Parallel Computation recently received the 1995 Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software.

The Wilkinson Prize recognizes significant advances in high-quality numerical software. Carle shared the award with this collaborator, Chris Bischof of Argonne National Laboratory.

The breakthrough software, called ADIFOR 2.0, has been applied to programs that model weather, analyze civil transportation and provide 3-D models of groundwater contamination.

The new version of ADIFOR, which stands for the automatic differentiation of Fortran, computes the exact derivatives of functions defined by Fortran 77 programs, which are used for serious number-crunching problems such as those involving computer modeling and projections. ADIFOR 2.0 recently became available for non-commercial research and commercial evaluation.

The Argonne National Laboratory originally contacted John Dennis, professor of computational and applied mathematics, to locate an expert in compiling, or translating high-level computer language into machine language, to develop the software. Dennis referred them to Carle.

"I've long been a champion of this research," Dennis said. "ADIFOR 2.0 allows people to get more out of programs already in use. It is incredibly valuable to simulation and projection problems," he said.

Carle and Bischof accepted the award at the International Conference in Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Hamburg, Germany, in July. The Wilkinson Prize, which is given every four years, is sponsored by Argonne National Laboratory, The National Physical Laboratory and the Numerical Algorithms Group.

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