One question that I have concerns the following: I know that you said in class that this language is still relevant, but as I discuss it with my piers they seem to agree that it does not. Due to my schedule and the belief that programming will probably not be extremely important to me in my career I have decided to stay in this section anyway. What I would like you to tell me are some more detailed reasons why Fortran is still useful to learn.
First read my comments on the Web page for the first lecture. It addresses some of the general merits of learning to program. Also, note that in the areas of EE, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and the broad field of Control Theory, Fortran is definitely not directly relevant, C is the language of choice because of its history as a language for creating computer operating systems and other computer utilities. If you are going to be in an area where you must analyze the behavior of physical systems (including flows of fluids, motions of structures, chemical or nuclear reactions) Fortran should be your language of choice. Fortran itself will be very useful to you if you reach a point in your career where you are trying analyze a scientific or engineering problem that no one has studied or in a way that has not been tried. It is probably hard to conceive of being in that position at this point in your life, but odds are if you are successful enough in your profession you will reach this stage from time to time. A broader use of Fortran knowledge comes in analysis of problems that others have tackled before. You will not always be able to come up with a canned commercial package that does exactly what you want, but can very frequently find some free Fortran on the Net that comes close, and can do your task with a little modification.
I was wondering if there are any similarities between Fortran and Basic programming?
Many details differ, but they are in general very similar languages. If you have become skilled at basic programming, you should adjust rapidly to Fortran
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