Thursday, 25 September 2014

Favorite Languages For Numerical Analysis & Scientific Computation

Languages For Numerical Analysis & Scientific Computation

Fortran: Anyone who thinks FORTRAN is some ancient archaic language is speaking out of nothing but sheer ignorance. Lauded by many as the numero uno of Programming Languages in Scientific Computation combined with its amazing speed (the fastest high-level language), It seats on my number one spot in computational science. It's easy to learn, use and its imperative structure and enables fast prototyping coupled with support for arrays, modular programming and generic programming, object-oriented programming, and concurrent programming.

It is used in computationally intensive areas such as numerical weather prediction, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, computational physics, and computational chemistry. (Wikipedia)

Cons: Poor File I/O support.

Python: With the numpy library, ipython interactive shell, and SciPy Library, Python is preferred by many in areas of scientific computation. Its rise in fame over the past decade coupled with its legacy to put code readability over every other thing, it has been tipped by many to lead the trail in scientific computation in a decade from now.

Cons: Slow for time-critical tasks, Most people use it for prototyping and implement code in Fortran or C.

C: Has numerous libraries for Scientific Computation. Its speed and power have made it the preferred choice in actual code implementation.

Cons: It's a low level language, makes fast prototyping difficult.

MATLAB: Preferred by scientist who don't have a solid programming background because of its interactive environment and visualization and easy to learn nature. Developed by a Numerical analyst and its fame in academia makes it a much-preferred choice to use.

Cons: Slow, most of the critical parts are eventually written partly or entirely in C and Fortran.

The order is totally my opinion, feel free to disagree or/and add yours.

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My name is Solomon Ubani, I'm a computer scientist. I have few years of programming experience. I am happy to learn from you.