Why Study Scientific Computing?
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The emergence of scientific computing as a vital part of science and engineering coincides with the explosion in computing power in the past 50 years. Many physical phenomena have been well understood and have accurate models describing them since the late 1800s, but before the widespread use of computers, scientists and engineers were forced to make many simplifying assumptions in the models in order to make them solvable by pencil-and-paper methods, such as series expansion. With the increase of computing power, however, one can afford to use numerical methods that are computationally intensive but that can tackle the full models without the need to simplify them. Nonetheless, every method has its limitations, and one must understand how they work in order to use them correctly.
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