Computer languages.



SIMPLY PUT:  I have never seen a scientific article written in FORTRAN,
 C, Pascal, or any language other than those spoken commonly by human
 beings.  Whoever coined the term language for computer codes would probably
 groan at the idea that these "languages" would be considered
 equivalent to
 real language just because he chose the same name for the idea of
 portable computer instruction protocols.
 Those chemistry/physics departments that offer the computer language option
 are perpetrating a fraud--perhaps because they fear that their output of
 graduates would decline otherwise. I feel that a PhD represents a certain
 minimum level of education which includes mastery of ideas and skills that
 lie outside of the major department.  Committees convened to address the
 language problems would best put their efforts into arranging with
 the foreign language department a course that will better prepare their
 PhD candidates so that they can pass the exam.
 Jeff Hudgens
 Chemical Kinetics and Thermodynamics Division
 National Institute of Standards and Technology
 Internet: Hudgens -8 at 8- enh.nist.gov