making a case for FORTRAN 
Author Message
 making a case for FORTRAN

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  Re: making a case for fortran      Conf: (0) comp.lang.
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Quote:
>I usually never read the fortran group, being involved in the c and object
>oriented worlds instead, but i might be induced to change now.
>I am planning to attend graduate school in statistics and i am looking for
>a general purpose language that once i get good at will do everything i
>need.
>i need:
>easy and powerful matrix math.
>good numerical anlysis routinues
>good error trapping and debugging.
>good graphics, the kind i can whipp together and paste into a paper.
>the ability to be able to build off of what i've done before, ie build
>routinues in one class and use them for all others.
>does Fortran get me there?  if so which compiler do you recommed.  i'll go
>out a buy a new computer in the fall and i was thinking of a powerPC or a
>windows clone.  pluses if its also portable to a unix box back and forth.
>thnaks for your advice.
>joe alotta.

My impression from colleagues engaged in statistical computing research, is
that FORTRAN continues to be the core number crunching language mostly because
of the vast existing code libraries of esoteric & arcane statistical &
mathematical routines.  C is used for graphical interfaces, vizualization and
by some for numerical work.  APL has enjoyed a  minor renaissance in some
quarters for its superior matrix math.

For no other reason, than to decipher existing FORTRAN library routines, you
wouldn't go far wrong to learn basic FORTRAN [heck it's one of the easier
languages to learn], and it certainly would not have to cost much, i.e.,
there's at least one free F77 compiler and a FORTAN to C converter/compiler.

For it's advanced modern statistical routines and for it's superior graphics,
the S-PLUS stat package has become a premier research tool.  It has the added
advantage of being WATCOMM compatible, i.e., you can load your own C or
FORTRAN routines; hence, get around your graphics hard copy problems.  

In short, no single language or statistical package will guarantee what you
ask.  As a serious statistical researcher you'll be exposed to a variety of
statistical software in a variety of languages.  If you're numerically
inclined the more you know the better.  At the other extreme, if you're
inclined to theoretical abstraction, your computing might be confined mostly
to composing elegant mathematical treatises in Tex [frankly there's a lot to
be said for being a pencil pusher / symbol thrasher whose main computing need
is preparing manuscripts, but good jobs are few and far between].

Good Luck.

Byron Bodo
Adj Prof, Stats & Actuarial Sci
The University of Western Ontario

--
  Byron Bodo     240 Markham St.        tel: (416) 967 7286
  |>    |>       Toronto, ON            fax: (416) 967 9004



Mon, 02 Dec 1996 11:52:03 GMT  
 making a case for FORTRAN
: My impression from colleagues engaged in statistical computing research, is
: that FORTRAN continues to be the core number crunching language mostly because
: of the vast existing code libraries of esoteric & arcane statistical &
: mathematical routines.  C is used for graphical interfaces, vizualization and
: by some for numerical work.  APL has enjoyed a  minor renaissance in some
: quarters for its superior matrix math.

: For no other reason, than to decipher existing FORTRAN library routines, you
: wouldn't go far wrong to learn basic FORTRAN [heck it's one of the easier
: languages to learn], and it certainly would not have to cost much, i.e.,
: there's at least one free F77 compiler and a FORTAN to C converter/compiler.

: For it's advanced modern statistical routines and for it's superior graphics,
: the S-PLUS stat package has become a premier research tool.  It has the added
: advantage of being WATCOMM compatible, i.e., you can load your own C or
: FORTRAN routines; hence, get around your graphics hard copy problems.  

: In short, no single language or statistical package will guarantee what you
: ask.  As a serious statistical researcher you'll be exposed to a variety of
: statistical software in a variety of languages.  If you're numerically
: inclined the more you know the better.  At the other extreme, if you're
: inclined to theoretical abstraction, your computing might be confined mostly
: to composing elegant mathematical treatises in Tex [frankly there's a lot to
: be said for being a pencil pusher / symbol thrasher whose main computing need
: is preparing manuscripts, but good jobs are few and far between].

: Good Luck.

: Byron Bodo
: Adj Prof, Stats & Actuarial Sci
: The University of Western Ontario

: --

As someone who has just graduated from the statistics graduate program, I
agree with Prof. Bodo's posting above.

J.G. Liao
:   Byron Bodo     240 Markham St.        tel: (416) 967 7286
:   |>    |>       Toronto, ON            fax: (416) 967 9004



Mon, 02 Dec 1996 21:55:38 GMT  
 making a case for FORTRAN

Quote:

>===========================================================================

   ... much deleted ...

Quote:
>For it's advanced modern statistical routines and for it's superior graphics,
>the S-PLUS stat package has become a premier research tool.  It has the added
>advantage of being WATCOMM compatible, i.e., you can load your own C or
>FORTRAN routines; hence, get around your graphics hard copy problems.

What is S-PLUS?

Quote:
>Byron Bodo
>Adj Prof, Stats & Actuarial Sci
>The University of Western Ontario
>--
>  Byron Bodo     240 Markham St.        tel: (416) 967 7286
>  |>    |>       Toronto, ON            fax: (416) 967 9004


=================================================

School of Business
Acadia University
Wolfville, NS, Canada


Thu, 05 Dec 1996 06:13:57 GMT  
 
 [ 3 post ] 

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