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    Home : Company : News Releases : Numerical Mathematics Consortium Outlines Specification

Numerical Mathematics Consortium Outlines Specification for Algorithm Development

Preliminary Technical Specification Identifies More than 250 Functions for Standardization

PARIS, France; WATERLOO, Canada; CAMBRIDGE, Mass.; and AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 10, 2006 – The Numerical Mathematics Consortium today announced the availability of its preliminary technical specification, which outlines a list of more than 250 numerical mathematical functions the consortium plans to standardize. The consortium identified these functions in an effort to define an open mathematics semantics standard for numerical algorithm development that enables portability and reuse among tools, platforms and disciplines.

The consortium, comprising leading mathematics software vendors and interested individuals from industry and academia, has identified this core set of mathematical functions applicable to numeric algorithms with an emphasis on matrix computations. These more than 250 functions are grouped under the following 14 classes: approximation, integration and interpolation; Boolean functions; relational operators; elementary functions; linear algebra; math constants; matrix generation; matrix operators; membership functions; polynomial functions; set operators; special functions; statistic functions; and vector analysis.

The Numerical Mathematics Consortium was established to create a standard specification for numeric mathematics that ensures algorithm portability across platforms and enables compatibility among applications through standardizing core mathematical definitions, algorithm interchangeability and function semantics. The organization’s objective is to create a specification that defines a core mathematical function set applicable to numeric algorithms. Algorithms that meet the specification can be used in a wide variety of application areas such as industrial control, embedded design and scientific research, as well as be easily reused by researchers and developers in industry and academia.

Founding members of the Numerical Mathematics Consortium include INRIA (Scilab Publisher), Maplesoft, Mathsoft and National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI). Numerous individuals from leading industry and academic institutions are supporting the consortium in both membership and advisory roles to provide review and guidance on the development of these technical standards.

“The Numerical Mathematics Consortium has accomplished an important step by identifying the function categories and the core functions in each category to standardize, based on usage across a wide variety of applications,” said Dr. Robert H. Bishop, professor and chairman of the University of Texas Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. “This sets a strong foundation for the consortium to accomplish the next phase of its mission – to standardize the semantic definitions of these core functions. The Numerical Mathematics Consortium’s efforts will have a large impact in overcoming the current lack of compatibility across multiple numeric math tools and facilitate ease of algorithm reuse.”

Vendors and individuals interested in reviewing the preliminary specification of core mathematical functions applicable to numeric algorithms can visit the Numerical Mathematics Consortium Web site at Membership is open to all and highly recommended to those who wish to participate actively and influence the specification.

About the Numerical Mathematics Consortium
The Numerical Mathematics Consortium is a nonprofit organization comprising vendors and individuals in industry and academia committed to establishing an open mathematical semantics standard for numerical algorithm development and reuse. Focused on reducing the overall cost of numerical algorithm development and reuse in different disciplines, the Numerical Mathematics Consortium is committed to ensuring algorithm portability through standardizing core mathematical definitions, algorithm interchangeability and function semantics. The consortium’s charter document, specification, list of founding member companies and testimonials from advisors and member companies are available at Vendors and individuals interested in taking an active role in standardizing numerical mathematics also can visit the Web site for information on joining the consortium.

About Maplesoft
Maplesoft is a leading developer and provider of interactive mathematical software. Its suite of products includes Maple, the most powerful and intuitive tool for solving complex mathematical problems and creating rich, executable technical documents; MapleNet, a Web-based platform for sharing Maple content for collaboration and e-learning; and Maple T.A., a Web-based system for creating tests, assignments and exercises, automatically assessing student responses and performance. Its standards-compliant algorithms are renowned for their speed, accuracy and reliability. In addition, Maplesoft leads the market with innovations that make the management of technical knowledge – whether in industry, or in a classroom – more effective and efficient. Over two million users at thousands of organizations benefit from advanced Maple technology. The Maplesoft commercial customer base includes Boeing, Bosch, Canon and NASA. Additionally, virtually every major university and research institute in the world, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford and Waterloo, has adopted Maplesoft products to enhance its education and research activities. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Iorgulescu
519.747.2373 x.289
David Resnic or Karla Strobel
Schwartz Communications