UW AMath High Performance Scientific Computing
AMath 483/583 Class Notes
Spring Quarter, 2013

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Linear Algebra software


The Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines are extensively used in LAPACK, in other linear algebra packages, and elsewhere.

There are three levels of BLAS:

  • Level 1: Scalar and vector operations
  • Level 2: Matrix-vector operations
  • Level 3: Matrix-matrix operations

For general information about BLAS see http://www.netlib.org/blas/faq.html.

Optimized versions of the BLAS are available for many computer architectures. See

See also:


To install BLAS and LAPACK to work with gfortran, see:

On some linux systems, including the VM for the class, you can install both BLAS and LAPACK via:

$ sudo apt-get install liblapack-dev

Direct methods for sparse systems

Although iterative methods are often used for sparse systems, there are also excellent software packages for direct methods (such as Gaussian elimination):