Laird Receives Wilkinson Prize

Photo of Dr. Carl LairdCarl Laird, assistant professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been named recipient of the prestigious Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software.

Laird will receive the international award along with colleague Andreas Waechter of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center for their development of IPOPT, a software library for solving nonlinear, nonconvex, large-scale continuous optimization problems.

The Wilkinson Prize is awarded every four years to the entry that best addresses all phases of the preparation of numerical software. It is sponsored by Argonne National Laboratory, the Numerical Algorithms Group, and the National Physical Laboratory.

IPOPT is an object-oriented software library that facilitates the solution of large-scale continuous optimization problems. It has been used in a wide range of applications, including automatic tuning of transistor widths, inverse kinematics of a humanoid robot, dynamic optimization of chemical processes, portfolio optimization and risk management, water and wastewater management, hyperthermia treatment planning, optimal design of masks in wafer lithography, and the simulation of complex dynamical systems.

IPOPT is available from the COIN-OR open source repository, and interfaces for modeling languages (AMPL, GAMS), and for MATLAB, R, Java, and Python are included. In addition, IPOPT allows the use of several third-party solvers of sparse, symmetric indefinite linear systems. IPOPT has extensive documentation and a tutorial that allows users to install and use the package in a short period of time.

Laird and Waechter are scheduled to receive their awards at the 2011 International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.