I recently asked some of my colleagues a question relating to the Kahan compensated summation algorithm and was greeted with blank stares and the question “What’s that?” This caught me off guard as I had known about it for a few years. I can’t remember how I found out about it, but I think that journey started with a single tutorial question in 2nd year applied maths and when I read “What every computer scientist should know about floating-point arithmetic” by David Goldberg. I’ll start this off with why this algorithm matters, then what it actually is. Continue reading

# Monthly Archives: October 2013

# An odyssey learning about programming, maths, etc.

Over the past few years, I have benefited greatly from other people’s blogs, especially about computer programming, hardware, numerical analysis and 3D graphics. I am by no means as bright as those people, nor do I have their years of experience, but I do occasionally find unusual problems who’s solutions I would like to share. Of course, part of my reason for doing this is to record bits of my research and my thinking at the time so that I can find all this information when I forget it after a few months or years.

I feel it is necessary to point out that what I post here is only partly related to my PhD research. Owing to intellectual property agreements I can’t blog about my actual work, but many of the tools I use and problems I encounter are more general than my little corner of the academic world, so I will keep their descriptions in this more general sense.