Basic Idea. "Numerical computing" refers to a broad family of applications that make heavy use of real arithmetic.
Used By whom? Physical scientists, engineers, statisticians. Any time you are modeling physical systems or computing mathematical functions over the real numbers, you are doing numerical computing.
Point of view: "Numerical" computing is not the best term ... all computing can be described in terms of numbers after all, at a low level.
But now we know that this should really read:
"Numerical" computing is not the best term ... all computing can be described in terms of symbols after all, at a low level.
Numerical applications were the primary motivation for the first computers. They continue to be the major driving motivation for the highest end of (super) computer development, and for much of the activity in parallel computing.
Famous examples NASTRAN, IMSL, SAS, MATLAB
NOTE: They are all members of the paradigm of "Special Purpose Languages".
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Last Updated 04/16/2000
© L.Heath, 2000