[Beowulf] Fortran is Awesome

John Hearns hearnsj at googlemail.com
Sun Dec 2 00:38:47 PST 2018

Interesting things coded in Fortran? How about one of the first medical
Deep Learning applications.
In the 1970s.

My father worked in the Diagnostic Methodology Research Unit in Glasgow.
I learned to code as a 12 year old by sneaking in and using their PDP 11-45
running RSX 11M.
I learned Fortran coding using the PDP.
The researchers there wrote an entire medical diagnostics program called
GLADYS in Fortran.
These days we would call it an expert system, it used Bayseian statistics.

They had a room outfitted with a terminal with simple buttons, and a one
way mirror.
They were investigating if patients would be more inclined to discuss
embarrasing conditions, and be more truthful, with a computer rather than a
human doctor.

My father also told me that clinicians from out of Scotland had to be given
Glaswegian vocabulary coaching.
"I've got the dry boak"  = dry retching  etc.

On Sun, 2 Dec 2018 at 09:28, Mikhail Kuzminsky <kus at free.net> wrote:

> I believe that the rationality of FORTRAN using is and now very much
> dependent on the application. In quantum chemistry, where I previously
> programmed, as also in computational chemistry in general, Fortran
> remains the main language.
> >Yes, C is dangerous.  You can break your code in ever so many ways if
> >you code with less than discipline and knowledge and great care.
> This may mean that in some cases write Fortran program can be easier
> and therefore faster than in C.
> > Hell, at my age I may never write serious C applications ever again,
> >but if I write ANYTHING
> > that requires a compiler, its going to be in C.
> I haven't been programming in quantum chemistry for a very long time.
> But recently I wrote a tiny program for the task of computational
> chemistry - and I did it in Fortran :-)
> Mikhail
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