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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Computing perspectives: software and the programmer

Engineering could not exist without mathematics and experimental science. Mathematics deals in pure thought and experimental science is concerned with the laws of nature. Within the same framework, it may be said that the aim of engineering is to secure control over nature. In some branches of engineering the dependence is very clear. Where, for example, would heat engines be without thermodynamics, radio antenna design without electromagnetic theory, or communications without Fourier analysis? It has long been accepted that the training of an engineer should include a serious study of mathematics and the relevant science, whatever use he or she may subsequently make of this learning.

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