Computer Applications used in Science and Technology: To meet today’s business requirements with the opening up of the economy and the big thrust being to the export sector, more and more organizations have begun to display Information Technology (IT) as a strategic tool.
Many organizations have already evolved or re-oriented their business on and around information systems. Banks use it for better client serving, manufacturing concerns use it for planning, resource allocation and to produce high-quality goods; communications have taken a completely new dimension owing to the speed, power, and flexibility that IT offers.
An information system is a group of integrated elements—people, procedures, equipment — working together in support decision making and operations within an organization or in a personal setting.
The functional information systems of an organization are its backbone. Understanding the entire information system is impossible without understanding the functional information systems. In this chapter, we will discuss a variety of computer applications.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The computer is used to assist man in business organizations, in research, and in many other walks of life. Some of these areas are examined so as to give an indication of the very wide range of activities in which the computer is involved.
Some of the applications may be surprising if one considers the limited capabilities of the machine. In any case, adaptability has been given by man’s capacity to diminish what are frequently exceptionally confusing issues to the basic level at which the PC can be utilized and to plan and execute astute PC framework which can give a heap interaction of the essentially straightforward undertakings that the PC can deal with.
Whatever has been achieved so far has been accomplished in a very short period of time. The first computer was developed j as little as forty-five years ago and ten years passed before the industry was established, on a firm footing.
The primary processing ventures were embraced In college research centers and logical establishments to create PCs for unique purposes.
In science, the coming of PCs has implied that estimations which were beforehand past examination, as a result of the time-length and drudgery engaged with doing them, have now gotten conceivable.
This has incredibly quickened and extended research in such sciences as material science, science, stargazing, and hereditary qualities.
As of late, there has been an expanding utilization of PCs for research and information examination in less numerical regions, for example, medication, the sociologies, and even the humanities. Application in humanities includes concordances, textual criticism, and stylistic analysis.
Computers are now a standard feature of life in universities and industrial laboratories. Almost every branch of science and engineering has benefited from its development.
Elementary particle physics is one field of study which has been broadened considerably. Molecular biology is another, resulting in spectacular progress in our understanding of the structure of living matter.
Because of the immensity of some of the research problems, huge computer complexes are sometimes needed.
The CERN Institute in Geneva, researching in high energy nuclear physics, is one such center. It is financed by a number of European governments and has become an international pool of scientific brainpower.
Although mathematics has had a big impact on the development of computers, the development of many new areas of mathematics has been stimulated by the existence of computers. Numerical mathematics had never so much significance as it has today.
Boolean Algebra which was in a state of neglect now plays a central role in logic technology in general and the logic design of computers in particular. Most of the linear programming techniques which involve computations that are long and complex would have had only theorists interest if the fast calculations of computers were not available.
Even the development of linear programming techniques would not have received so much attention as they are receiving now. Some of the conjectures in number theory such as Mersenne primes have been disproved by exploiting the power of computers.
There is now less incentive for finding a formula that generates particular sequences of numbers since the sheer power of computers enables us to enumerate long sequences of numbers that are sufficient for all practical purposes.
The use of computers In genetics falls mainly Into three categories according to the purpose of computations. The first is the use of computers for statistical data analysis. Once a given format of analysis is programmed on a computer, the program can be repeatedly applied to data of a similar type.
Such cases occur, for example, in the analysis of cyclic selection experiments. The second category is the numerical solution of equations. A genetic problem may be formulated mathematically in order to obtain desired results or certain predictions for the problem.
Sometimes, however, the resulting formulas arc extremely difficult to solve exactly by analytical methods. On other occasions. analytical solutions obtained may be so complex that they still need numerical evaluations. In either event, a computer is indispensable.
The last category of applications Is the simulation of actual biological systems on computers. In many instances. genetic variables, the relationships among these variables, and the Initial conditions of these variables are known for a particular system, however, the exact mathematical formulations of a system may be extremely messy.
One may simulate actual systems on a computer by use of random number generating methods of computer and summarise the results in the form of probability distributions.
Investigations into large molecules of biological significance now comprise an active research endeavor. Computers have helped in the unraveling of highly complicated organic molecular structures.
Nobel Laureate Kendrews’s principal contribution in molecular biology seems to be the complete resolution of the structure of the protein myoglobin.
This is a molecule with a molecular weight of 18,000 with 1200 atoms, not counting hydrogen and every one of these atoms was put into its place by a computation which Involved fitting 20,000 Fourier co-efficient in a million points by least squares.
If one had used old-fashioned techniques, it would have taken a few generations to perform the same thing. Perhaps, the greatest potential problem will be the reproduction of biological history by the Monte Carlo method. Even since Darwin, it was worried many people that homo sapiens have appeared too suddenly on the biological scene to be explicable by random mutations and natural selection.
Some forty years ago, Sir Ronald Fisher believed that he had answered the question in the affirmative, but his argument is now generally considered unsatisfactory.
If we have sufficient knowledge of human genes, it may be possible to play out millions of Monte Carlo games of the development of man by random mutations and natural selection and this may then decide the gigantic dilemma of whether there was purpose in man’s development or not.
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