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Computer as thinker/doer: problem-solving environments for computational science

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3 Author(s)
Gallopoulos, E. ; Center for Supercomput. Res. & Dev., Illinois Univ., Urbana, IL, USA ; Houstis, E. ; Rice, J.R.

During the early 1960s, scientists began to envision problem-solving computing environments not only powerful enough to solve complex problems but also able to interact with users on human terms. While many tried to create PSEs over the next few years, by the early 1970s they had abandoned almost all of these attempts. Technology could not yet support PSEs in computational science. But the dream of the 1960s can be the reality of the 1990s: high-performance computers combined with better understanding of computing and computational science have put PSEs well within our reach. The term 'problem-solving environment' means different things to different people. A PSE is a computer system that provides all the computational facilities necessary to solve a target class of problems. These features include advanced solution methods, automatic or semi-automatic selection of solution methods, and ways to easily incorporate novel solution methods. Simple PSEs appeared early in computing without being recognized as such. Some of the capabilities of future problem-solving environments seem like science fiction, but whatever form they eventually take, their scientific and economic impact will be enormous.<>

Published in:

Computational Science & Engineering, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 2 )