1.2 Why Fortran?
Probably many of you are wondering why you need to learn Fortran with all the seemingly more simple alternatives, such as MATLAB (in fact, this is hardly an alternative. Fortran is much more powerful than MATLAB. A better argument may be C++ v/s Fortran 90). In fact many universities have dropped Fortran from their Chemical Engineering curriculum. The first reason this occurred was the resitance in the engineering community to moving from FORTRAN 77 to Fortran 90. While many languages were being created and modified for simplicity and for use in specific applications, Fortran lagged behind. However, Fortran remained throughout this time as the superior language for numerical, scientific, and engineering applications. With the improvements in Fortran from version 77 to 90, it remains the language of choice for computational science. Fortran 90 is more powerful than C++ in the areas of numerical robustness, data parallelism, data abstraction, and functional programming. C++ leads only in object-oriented programming, which the next version of Fortran hopes to address.