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David Alan Grier: The Early Progress of Scientific Simulation
The Early Progress of Scientific Simulation
(p. 57 – 63)

David Alan Grier

The Early Progress of Scientific Simulation

PDF, 7 pages

  • computer
  • history of science
  • programming / coding
  • history of technology
  • computer science
  • computer simulation

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David Alan Grier

is Associate Professor of International Science and Technology Policy and International Affairs at the Elliot School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. He received his B.A. in Mathematics from Middlebury College and his Ph.D. in Statistical Computation at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has published extensively on the development of computation and the institutions that support computation in publications. He currently writes the column »The Known World« for IEEE Computer and served for four years as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing.

Other texts by David Alan Grier for DIAPHANES
Gabriele Gramelsberger (ed.): From Science to Computational Sciences

In 1946 John von Neumann stated that science is stagnant along the entire front of complex problems, proposing the use of largescale computing machines to overcome this stagnation. In other words, Neumann advocated replacing analytical methods with numerical ones. The invention of the computer in the 1940s allowed scientists to realise numerical simulations of increasingly complex problems like weather forecasting, and climate and molecular modelling. Today, computers are widely used as computational laboratories, shifting science toward the computational sciences. By replacing analytical methods with numerical ones, they have expanded theory and experimentation by simulation.

During the last decades hundreds of computational departments have been established all over the world and countless computer-based simulations have been conducted. This volume explores the epoch-making influence of automatic computing machines on science, in particular as simulation tools.