**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

- NASTRAN is a famous structural engineering analysis package.
- IMSL is a general purpose math software library.
- SAS is for statistics.
- MATLAB is for linear algebra.

**NOTE:** They are all members of the paradigm of "Special Purpose Languages".

CS1104 Main Page

Last Updated 04/16/2000

© L.Heath, 2000