In the not too distant past, anyone who wanted to manipulate or analyze data for a scientific or engineering project would need to know low level programming languages, especially if there was a real sensor or hardware in the loop. Consequently, 8086 machine language was commonly taught in physics and engineering programs. But with the advent of scientific programming environments like MatLabTM, MathematicaTM or R, most researchers no longer need to take the time or suffer the brain damage required to acquire such arcane knowledge. Instead, they can employ a relatively simple and widely used scientific programming environment so that they can focus on being creative about their research.
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