What is Fortran?

Fortran is an imperative programming language compiled for general purposes that are particularly suitable for numerical computing and scientific computing.

Fortran was first launched in 1954, Fortran is and is still commonly used as the oldest programming language. Scientific fields, in particular, numerical weather prediction, computational fluid dynamics, and computational physics find their applications.

Fortran is quite common in high-performance computing and is used to mark the program bench and rank the fastest supercomputers in the world.

Fortran is a compiled language, or more specifically it is compiled ahead-of-time. In other words, you must perform a special step called the compilation of your written code before you are able to run it on a computer. This is where Fortran differs from interpreted languages such as Python and R which run through an interpreter which executes the instructions directly but at the cost of computing speed.

Why Learn Fortran?

Fortran is the dominant programming language used in engineering applications. It is therefore important for engineering graduates to be able to read and modify Fortran code. From time to time, so-called experts predict that Fortran will rapidly fade in popularity and soon become extinct. These predictions have always failed. Fortran is the most enduring computer programming language in history. One of the main reasons Fortran has survived and will survive is software inertia.

Over the years, a vast collection of code has been written with Fortran in many scientific and engineering machines, allowing the language to persist.

Some of the reasons you should learn Fortran:

1. Built-in support for arguments in subroutines

2. Rich set of intrinsic functions

3. Built-in support for complex numbers

4. Support for array notation allowing operations on array sections

5. Strong aliasing rules for memory pointers, resulting in more efficient code after compilation

Advantages of Fortran

Fortran has many advantages, some of which are:

  1. In science circles, Fortran is very powerful. It has a wealthy tool ecosystem for this domain. 
  2. Fortran produces the world's fastest native code. That's why scientific computing is perfect. 
  3. Fortran is extremely optimized for vectorization, making it great for modeling supercomputers. 
  4. Modern Fortran is amazingly simple to read and comprehend. Compare to C++.
  5. Fortran does not use the terrible syntax of the off-side rule you find in Python.

Main Features of Fortran

  1. FORTRAN II endorsed the language of procedural programming that enables algorithmic writing of the code.
  2. The COMMON declaration is used to access the global variables to be used in the programs for subroutines.
  3. FORTRAN II enables the subroutines to perform the tasks and the return values to be written.
  4. Any inherent or derived type may be a POINTER.
  5. Lower case characters in the source text are now permitted. A semicolon can be used in a single source line to distinguish various statements.

Fortran Course Outline

Fortran - Introduction/Overview

Fortran - Environment Setup

Fortran - Basic Syntax

Fortran - Data Types

Fortran - Variables

Fortran - Constants

Fortran - Operators

Fortran - Decisions

Fortran - Loops

Fortran - Numbers

Fortran - Characters

Fortran - Strings

Fortran - Arrays

Fortran - Dynamic Arrays

Fortran - Derived Data Types

Fortran - Pointers

Fortran - Basic Input Output

Fortran - File Input Output

Fortran - Procedures

Fortran - Modules

Fortran - Intrinsic Functions

Fortran - Numeric Precision

Fortran - Program Libraries

Fortran - Programming Style

Fortran - Debugging Program

Fortran - Exams and Certification


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