Skip to Main Content
The vastly increased capabilities that computers offer the bio-medical research worker are primarily due to the utilization of high-speed digital computers. The techniques of automatic programming are attempts to lighten the load of the programmer and coder, by making the computer itself help prepare the program or code, minimizing the amount of writing a programmer need do. From a functional point of view, three types of automatic programs can be distinguished: the algebraic automatic program that can "understand" a code written almost directly in the usual algebraic symbols; the data-manipulation automatic program that greatly facilitates the handling of large masses of data; and the simulation automatic program, which greatly facilitates model building on the computer. The role of the automatic program is to translate "pseudoinstructions," that nearly resemble ordinary language, into direct computer or "machine language" instructions. In this tutorial paper, the basic concepts of the "machine language" are described first, and then a sketch of some of the techniques for composing and utilizing automatic programming "languages" is given.