NewsJulia Wants to be C for Scientists

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Stefan Karpinski, Jeff Bezanson and Viral Shah are hard at work on a new programming language they call Julia, which they hope scientists will use to develop technical applications. According to Karpinski, a lot of “technical” languages, such as Matlab, R, and NumPy, are good at one thing, but they can’t do everything, and developers often must write some code in C. The group is developing Julia as a replacement for those languages with “sufficiently good performance… that you’d never have to drop down into C.”

Karpinski noted, “A lot of number-crunching these days ends up being done in the cloud environment, where you can allocate resources on demand.” For those reasons, they’ve also designed Julia with cloud computing and parallelism in mind.”

As to why they named the language Julia, Karpinski said, “That’s everybody’s favorite question. There’s no good reason, really. It just seemed like a pretty name.”

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