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Early MATLAB History, SIAM, and Nick Higham

Two years ago we were celebrating MATLAB Central’s fifteenth anniversary. I recently came across some more MATLAB history courtesy of Nick Higham’s blog.

Nick is an applied mathematician at the University of Manchester (where he is fortunate enough to work in the Alan Turing Building!). You could say that Nick wrote the book on applied mathematics. You could say that, because in fact Nick DID write the book on applied mathematics. The book he wrote is called The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics. I learned about it from this page where Nick describes some other fine books on applied mathematics.

In addition to writing and recommending mathematical literature, Nick is a rock star MATLAB programmer (one of his books is a MATLAB guide). With a penchant for both writing and applied mathematics, it’s not surprising that he would keep a blog. And that is where I came across this: Tracing the Early History of MATLAB Through SIAM News.

SIAM stands for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The members of SIAM tend to do things for which MATLAB is a good fit, so MathWorks has been advertising in SIAM News since the company was founded. Nick did the legwork to spot all the ads from the early days of MathWorks. Here is the first one he found. It’s from 1985, back when the company was just a few people headquartered in a house near Stanford.

Thanks for putting this together Nick!

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