Integration, Integration, Integration

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Tom Wilkie looks at 10 years of scientific computing

Scientific Computing World is 10 years old. Since its initial publication in 1994, it has tracked some tremendous changes in the technology of computing and in the application of computing and IT to the solution of problems in science, technology, and engineering.

To celebrate this anniversary, we have invited contributions from some of the leading figures in the scientific computing business. We asked them not to be retrospective, but to use this as an occasion to look forward. There is therefore no wallowing in nostalgia in the pages that follow. Instead, there is an incisive appraisal of where we stand today and of the trends, discernable now, that are likely to influence the development of scientific computing over the years to come.

What is striking is the common theme of 'integration'. Experts in disciplines ranging from life sciences, through chemistry, to mathematics and statistics software have independently come to broadly similar conclusions.

Of course, there are differences of emphasis and some very interesting differences of view as to what will be the key technological 'breakthroughs' of the next decade. But the common theme is almost a reprise of that hippy slogan from the 1960s: 'Only connect!' It is interesting to see it appear in such a context some four decades later.

The role of this magazine too is one of connecting, of bringing together European scientists and engineers and providing them with information about the latest developments in computing that will make their professional lives easier, more interesting and more productive. One prediction is secure: 10 years hence, Scientific Computing World will have just as interesting an array of technologies and applications to survey as it has today, and as it had a decade ago. It will be a different array of technologies and applications and readers of the magazine's 20th anniversary issue, 10 years hence, will be able to look back to the predictions in this one and see how much has come true.