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SIAM Activity Group on Linear Algebra

SIAG LA digest

Mar 7, 2016 • Jennifer Pestana

This month the digest features an article from student member Manuel Baumann on the formation and activities of the TU Delft SIAM Student Chapter. We would love to hear more from early career and student members of SIAG/LA so if you, or someone you know, is doing something interesting in linear algebra please get in touch!


Reflections on founding a new SIAM Student Chapter at TU Delft

The following is a short piece from Manuel Baumann, the inaugural president of the TU Delft Student Chapter.

Dear SIAG/LA community,

I was offered to share some (personal) experiences with you about our SIAM Student Chapter at Delft University of Technology which we founded in fall 2014. The story of our Chapter begins slightly earlier with so-called baNaNa talks - a series of informal lectures for-and-by PhD students of the Numerical Analysis department. The talks cover software tools and practical aspects from the life of the (young) mathematical researcher. Based on this framework a small group of active PhD students founded the Student Chapter in Delft as the first one in The Netherlands. Throughout the whole process we got great support from our Faculty Advisors at TU Delft as well as from SIAM. For our kick-off meeting, we received this video message from the former SIAM president Irene Fonseca.

Student Krylov Day 2015

From my point of view it is most feasible for a young Chapter to concentrate on one main yearly event. Biased by the research interests of our board, we decided to organize the SIAM Student Krylov Day 2015. For this one-day workshop, we invited PhD students from other SIAM Chapters in Europe as well as from Dutch universities that we met during previous conferences. The day consisted of talks about theory and applications of Krylov methods by participating PhD students, and Peter Sonneveld from TU Delft gave a historical talk on IDR(s), a short-recurrence Krylov method developed in 2008. Pictures and more details can be found in an article in SIAM News.

Bi-monthly baNaNa talks

Besides the main event, we organize regular so-called baNaNa talks. This seminar differs from other talks in two aspects: Firstly, we usually meet after the official working day and, secondly, the presenters do not prepare a lot of slides but start a learning-by-doing session live with their laptops. The content of the talks cover a wide range of software tools that can be beneficial, especially for researchers in Numerical Linear Algebra:

  • Version control with git, and efficient collaboration using github or bitbucket,
  • How to use the LAPACK and BLAS libraries,
  • Linking Python with (fast) C/Fortran code,
  • The new programming language Julia,
  • Latex best-practice and reference management using JabRef,
  • The CFD open source tool OpenFOAM.

Visit to TATA Steel

Since we are proper applied mathematicians, we also visited a Dutch steel company with the Student Chapter. A company visit gives a great opportunity to attract new members for the Student Chapter. In our case, we got the contact to TATA from a former collaborator of our group. The visit itself consisted of talks about numerical methods used at TATA and a tour through the steel factories.

The social component

An important part of a SIAM Student Chapter is the social component. At the end of each academic year, we organize a BBQ on campus where all members and their families are invited. Moreover, we meet for movie nights showing movies with mathematical content such as Enigma, or The Theory of Everything. Overall, I met a lot of enthusiastic colleagues through the Student Chapter activities. If anyone considers to found a new SIAM Student Chapter at his/her university, please do not hesitate to ask us for more information!

PDESoft 2016

PDESoft provides a forum for the developers and users of open source tools solving the diverse stages of the numerical PDE process to exchange the latest developments and discuss future ideas.

PDESoft 2016 will be held at the University of Warwick, UK. The main conference will run from July 4 to 6, while July 7 and 8 are dedicated to coding days, where developers can work on joint projects. We are happy to announce that Chris Cantwell, Stéphanie Chaillat-Loseille, Katy Huff, and Andreas Klöckner agreed to give keynote talks.

The call for abstracts has been extended until April 8th: Note that you need an easychair account. Please upload a pdf using the template provided on the conference web page. If you would like to suggest a group or a topic for the coding days please contact the organisers.

Thanks to the support of London Mathematical Society, registration is now free for PhD students (£100 for other participants) and support for accommodation is available upon request.

Postdoc in Tensor Decompositions, Sandia Natl Labs, California

Postdoctoral Appointee in Numerical Tensor Decompositions (Job ID: 652635) Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA

We have openings for one or more postdoctoral researchers in numerical tensor decompositions. The researcher will be involved in developing new algorithms and improving existing tensor decompositions methods; in implementing high-performance parallel tensor decomposition software; and in interfacing with scientific, engineering, and analysis applications. The work will lead to fundamental advances for Sandia’s customers and sponsors in the U.S. Department of Energy and other government agencies. The successful applicant will be expected to conduct innovative research, to develop open-source software, to present his or her findings at leading conferences and workshops, and to publish his or her results in leading journals. This postdoctoral position is for motivated and enthusiastic individuals with a background in applied mathematics, computer science, applied statistics, or related areas.

Minimum Qualifications: (1) Ph.D. in applied mathematics, computer science, applied statistics, or a closely related area, with a strong record of academic performance; (2) research experience in tensor decompositions, computational linear algebra, numerical data analysis, statistical data modeling, or other related topics; (3) refereed technical publications in mathematics, computer science, or statistics journals; (4) software development experience involving implementation and testing of numerical algorithms; and (5) excellent written and oral communication skills including experience giving technical presentations at professional conferences or workshops.

Desired Qualifications: (1) Previous research in one or more of the following areas: numerical linear algebra, numerical optimization, data analysis, randomized methods, or statistical modeling; (2) high-performance parallel computing experience; (3) internship or other experience in solving practical problems in science and engineering that involve encounters with real-world data; and (4) evidence of professional service to the community, such as engagement in student service activities or seminar/workshop organization.

The Post-Doctoral Appointee Program is designed to recruit outstanding Ph.D. applicants to assist a line organization in meeting its mission objectives and to provide a professional technical work environment for the employee. The Ph.D. must have been conferred within one to five years prior to employment. These assignments are for a one-year period, with the option at management’s discretion to serve no more than five additional one-year assignments. This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE)-granted security clearance.

For more information, go to and search for Job ID 652635.

You can also click the following link directly:

Please drop me a note if you apply.

Best wishes, Tammy

Tamara G. Kolda, Sandia National Labs, Livermore, CA
Phone 925-294-4769

Postdoc and PhD positions in Parallel Computing for Extreme-Scale Systems

Department of Computing Science at Umea University, Sweden invites excellent candidates to apply for postdoctoral and PhD positions. The successful candidate(s) will join NLAFET (Parallel Numerical Linear Algebra for Future Extreme-Scale Systems), which is one of the high-profile extreme-scale computing projects funded by the European Commission within the recent FET-HPC call under Horizon 2020. NLAFET is coordinated by Umea University with international partners from INRIA (France), University of Manchester and STFC-RAL (UK).

Future extreme-scale supercomputers will be heterogeneous and lead to new and challenging demands for efficient numerical algorithms and parallel software libraries. The aim of NLAFET is to tackle these challenges and ultimately deliver new scalable numerical libraries for fundamental problems in numerical linear algebra, including the solution of dense and sparse systems of equations and eigenvalue problems. Achieving this requires a co-design effort including developing novel algorithms, exploration of advanced scheduling strategies and runtime systems, offline and online autotuning, as well as avoiding communication and synchronization bottlenecks.

The positions will focus on design, implementation, and evaluation of parallel algorithms for matrix kernels and eigenvalue problems with regards to the extreme-scale challenges. The research will be done in close collaboration with recognized researchers and PhD students in the research group as well as with other partners in NLAFET.

For complete information of the positions see (dead-line for applications is April 4, 2016):


Faculty positions, Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

The Department of Computational and Data Sciences (CDS), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India is inviting applications for full-time tenure track faculty positions at all levels (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor).

CDS is an interdisciplinary engineering department spanning the research areas of Computational Science and Engineering, and Data Sciences. Computational science deals with computational methods, related mathematics and algorithms, and the design of high performance and scalable systems to support scientific and engineering applications. Data Science explores models, algorithms and scalable systems to extract knowledge and insight from both structured and unstructured data of various scales. CDS invites applications in all areas of computational and data sciences that lie at the intersection of methods, systems and applications, specifically in the following topics.

  • Computational Mathematics and its Application to Science and Engineering - All areas, especially in emerging areas and in areas that complement the specialization of the current faculty
  • Data science and its Applications?All areas including analytics, assimilation, visualization, knowledge extraction and representation, statistics at scale, programming models and platforms.
  • Scalable Systems for Computation and Data Sciences - emerging hardware architectures and software systems

CDS welcomes rolling applications, round-the-year, from Indian nationals who are exceptionally motivated, with an established record of independent, high quality research, and a commitment to teaching. The department expects the candidates to have published in top-ranking fora in their areas of expertise. For an Assistant Professor position, the prospective candidates must have a PhD with at least 3 years of post-doctoral research experience (relaxable in exceptional cases) and be preferably below 35 years of age. Applicants for senior positions, in addition to a PhD degree, must be leaders with outstanding contributions in their area of research and a proven track-record of advising doctoral students.

Women candidates and applicants belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are especially encouraged to apply.

Why CDS?

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is the premier graduate teaching and research institution in India, and is highly ranked on global metrics. Established over a century ago and located in the vibrant technology capital of Bangalore, IISc is renowned for its academic freedom. Its focus on research excellence, quality of students and faculty, and leadership in national and international initiatives, are widely recognized. At a broad level, it operates in a very similar manner to the premier international research schools, with both faculty hiring and promotions based on rigorous assessment from leading international experts in the area. Similarly, student selection is based on highly-competitive examinations (such as GATE) and detailed technical interviews.

CDS fully internalizes this creative academic ambience, and enriches it with a variety of unique facets. Interdisciplinary and collaborative research is strongly encouraged and supported, as is reflected in the current CDS faculty profiles. A variety of labs are operational, and new faculty are encouraged to start labs in their focus areas. CDS provides adequate lab space for meeting the need of individual faculty requirements. Also, exceptional computational infrastructure available at the Institute?s supercomputing centre (SERC), featuring the top-of-the-line hardware and software, allows for cutting-edge research in high-performance computing. Finally, the department is hosted in an aesthetically-pleasing spacious building with all modern amenities including ubiquitous wireless connectivity.

In a nutshell, CDS provides an environment in which committed researchers routinely turn their academic dreams into reality. Several national-level initiatives have been seeded and grown here. Further, for many top international research conferences and journals, publications from CDS represent the very first time that research from India has been featured in those fora.

How to apply

Interested candidates may apply by email to the Faculty Recruitment Committee of CDS ( with the following information, preferably in a single PDF file:

  • A complete resume, including names and contact information for at least three references who are leading experts in the area and familiar with the candidate’s technical contributions. (In the resume, please separate the publications into refereed journal papers, refereed conference papers, book chapters and invited articles; and include, for the conference papers, where available, the number of submissions to the conference and the number accepted.)
  • A two-page summary of the prior/significant research contributions
  • A two-page summary of the future research plans
  • A one-page summary of the teaching plans, specifically mentioning how it would fit in with the Computational Science MTech program run by CDS.
  • Copies of the top three publications.

Note to candidates who are currently abroad: Please send your application package at least two months prior to your next India visit.

Additional information

Additional information:
Department web page:
Institute web page:

Submissions for next SIAM-LA digest

The next SIAM-LA Digest is due to be sent out on Apr 04, 2016. Please send any postings for the next Digest to siam-la at Only SIAG/LA members may submit postings. To contact the list owner, send an email to siam-la-owner at