OXFORD UNIVERSITY COMPUTING LABORATORY 

ANNUAL REPORT 1963-4

  1. Computing Service

    With the Mercury machine scheduled to close down (probable date 15 March 1965), it is pertinent to summarize here its contribution to university research during the period 16 March 1959 to 31 July 1964. The facts, measured in hours of computing, time, are given in the following table.

      Mar 1959 to Jul 1960 Aug 1960 to Jul 1961 Aug 1961 to Jul 1962 Aug 1962 to Jul 1963 Aug 1963 to Jul 1964 Totals

    Clarendon

    649

    430

    1,372

    1,655

    1,400

    5,506

    Chem. Cryst.

    622

    650

    983

    1,192

    1,055

    4,502

    Other Depts

    367

    530

    946

    1,142

    2,006

    4,991

    O.U.C.L.

    896

    710

    1,000

    602

    852

    4,060

    Prog. Testing

    353

    460

    583

    578

    511

    2,485

    Other Univs.

    108

    90

    279

    496

    250

    1,223

    Firms

    737

    670

    492

    514

    653

    3,066

    Miscellaneous

    88

    60

    33

    29

    26

    236

    Maintenance

    891

    760

    894

    822

    793

    4,160

    Faults

    420

    190

    297

    402

    347

    1,656

    Totals

    5,131

    4,550

    6,879

    7,432

    7,893

    31,885

    During this period the machine earned about £250,000 from external users, enough to pay for all the maintenance, to repay £15,000 to the University Grants Committee, and to provide a balance of £75,000 at 31 July 1964. With the new £150,000 grant from the University Grants Committee this was exactly sufficient for the purchase of the new KDF9.

    The new machine uses different programming languages, and the recent programming courses have changed from 'Autocode' to the international language 'ALGOL'. The laboratory staff has also started converting many of its library programmes into ALGOL and, as a temporary measure, the KDF9 version of Autocode.

  2. Staff, research fellows, and research students

    Mr. J. D. P. Donnelly was appointed Senior Research Officer in January 1964. Mr. H. Wright held the I.C.T. Fellowship during the year, and worked on computer applications in forestry problems. Mr. D. B. Taylor took his D.Phil., with work on the numerical solution of hyperbolic equations, and is now working at the Argonne National Laboratory, U.S.A. Mr. C. T. H. Baker successfully submitted a D.Phil. thesis on integral equations, and is now working at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Three more junior assistants were appointed for the operation of KDF9.

  3. Lectures and Summer School

    The Director gave 28 lectures for Mathematical Moderations and 8 for Engineering Finals, Mr. D. F. Mayers 40 lectures for Mathematics Finals, Mr. J. S. Rollett 19 lectures for Engineering Finals, Mr. D. C. Handscomb 12 lectures on the theory and practice of approximation' in the Mathematics General list, Mr. H. Wright 4 lectures on 'programmes for forestry management', and Dr. C. E. Phelps organized and lectured for one Autocode and two ALGOL courses, with a total attendance at the latter of 140

    The 1963 Summer School, on 'Advances in programming and non-numerical analysis', attracted an attendance of about sixty. So far the laboratory has done no work in this field and the lecturers were drawn from the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, and Manchester, the Royal Radar Establishment at Malvern; and a consulting firm in London. The proceedings will be published under the editorship of the Director.

  4. Other activities

    The Director lectured on numerical analysis at Argonne National Laboratory, at an international symposium on Arch Dams at Southampton University, at Leicester, Brunel, Sheffield, and the National Physical Laboratory on a variety of topics, and attended a Matrix Symposium at Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He was elected to the chairmanship of the ATLAS Users' Committee at the N.I.R.N.S., to a committee of the Meteorological Office, to the Mathematics Advisory Committee at Bristol College of Science and Technology, to Government Grant Board A (Mathematics) of the Royal Society, and to a Schedule A Professorship in Numerical Analysis at Oxford.

    Mr. J. S. Rollett attended the Sixth international Congress of the Union of Crystallography in Rome and presented a paper on 'Least squares refinement with chemical and mechanical restraints'. He attended meetings of the X-ray analysis group, on 'Protein structure analysis' at the Royal Aeronautical Society and on 'Structural studies complementary to X-ray analysis' at the University of Keele, and of the British Computer Society at Edinburgh, and also lectured on various topics at Birmingham and Oxford.

    Mr. D. F. Mayers visited the Aeronautical Research Laboratory, Ohio, in connexion with his work on atomic wave functions, acts as consultant to C.E.I.R. Ltd. of London. and lectured at the University of Newcastle.

    Dr. C. E. Phelps represents the laboratory at the KDF9 Users' meetings, and has lectured and demonstrated the machine to various parties representing schools, the British Architects Association, RAF Officers, &c.

    Dr. D. C. Handscomb attends the KDF9 Users' meetings on statistical topics, and lectured on Monte Carlo methods at the Royal College of Advanced Technology, Salford.

  5. Publications

    C. T. H. BAKER, L. FOX, D. F. MAYERS, and K. WRIGHT. ‘Numerical solution of Fredholm integral equations.’ Computer J. 7, 141-8 (1964).

    D. W. J. CRUICKSHANK, B. C. WEBSTER. and D. F. MAYERS. ‘The d-orbits of sulphur.’ J. Chem. Phys. 40, 3732 (1964).

    L. FOX. An Introduction to Numerical Linear Algebra. Clarendon Press, Oxford (1964).

    D. C. HANDSCOMB. ‘A Monte Carlo method applied to the Heisenberg ferromagnet.’ Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc. 60. 119-122 (1964).

    — ‘A rigorous lower bound for the efficiency of a Monte Carlo method.’ Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc. 60, 357-8 (1964).

    — and J. M. HAMMERSLEY. Monte Carlo Methods. Methuen, London (1964).

    D. F. MAYERS. ‘The deferred approach to the limit in ordinary differential equations.’ Computer J. 7, 54 (1964).

Committee

Dr. D. ter Haar (Chairman). Dr. J. M. Linnett, Professor G. E. Blackman, Professor C. A. Coulson. Dr. N. T. J. Bailey, Mr. E. F. Jackson, L. Fox (Secretary).