Re: Computer languages.

IMHO there is some confusion here. I believe four things:-
 1.  Learning a computer language is not only a good idea but essential.
 2.  Learning something about other people's culture is not only a good
     idea but essential.
 3.  Learning to at least read a bit of another language is not only a
     good idea but essential. It would be better to be able to speak
     another language.
 4.  I see no reason why any of these things should be a compulsary part
     of a Ph D and in this country they are not. A Ph D is not the only
     thing in life or the only education scientists get. I expect people
     to learn these things without them being made compulsory.
 I might add that the time I spent, 30+ years ago, learning so-called
 "scientific german" was a complete waste of time. I never use it. On
 the other hand I can read papers in French after learning this in High
 School and spending short periods of time in France, french speaking
 West African countries, and, for a very brief time indeed, Montreal.
 So, rather than the silly choice between Fortran and French, I suggest
 dropping any language requirement. Certainly thinking Fortran is a
 language is insane - it is a computer coding device.
                            Brian J. Duke
 School of Chemistry and Earth Sciences, Northern Territory University
         GPO Box 40146, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia.
 Phone 089-466702   FAX 089-410460    E-mail B_DUKE-0at0-DARWIN.NTU.EDU.AU