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1. About Algae

Algae is an interpreted language for numerical analysis. Algae was developed because we needed a fast and versatile tool, capable of handling large problems. Algae has been applied to interesting dynamics problems in aerospace and related fields for more than a decade.

This document describes both Algae, the programming language, and algae, the interpreter. Neither one of them is complete. Even so, they offer some unique capabilities that we hope you'll find useful.

Algae was designed and implemented by Scott Hunziker and Mike Brennan.

Algae grew up in the "Structures Outback" of the Boeing Aerospace Company (now the Boeing Defense & Space Group). Way back in 1989, Bill Russell convinced Bob Vos, the head of Boeing's ISM project, that ISM needed an interactive language. With Dave Beste's help, Bill put together a crude system (it looked a lot like MATLAB) with a recursive descent parser. They called it ISMLAB. After Bill got a real job, Scott Hunziker took over and made major changes. ISMLAB, along with the entire ISM project, was cancelled ignominiously in 1991.

Scott Hunziker and Mike Brennan began work on a successor to ISMLAB called AMPL (A Matrix Programming Language) with internal Boeing funding. (The author remembers well the first day of their collaboration, when he inadvertently showed Mike that AMPL could multiply two matrices and get the wrong answer.) As AMPL took shape, the internal funding dried up, leaving Scott to maintain it in his spare time. Boeing generously released AMPL to the public in 1994. The name was changed to Alki in 1995 because, by then, an unrelated package called AMPL was being distributed through netlib. That name also had a conflict, and it was finally changed to Algae in early 1997.

Thanks to Don Morris for contributing the plotting code (not to mention countless bug reports), and Ian Searle for advice, constructive criticism, and pizza.

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This document was generated by K. Scott Hunziker on February, 11 2004 using texi2html