By E. Bright Wilson Jr.
Famous scientist's awfully transparent, pragmatic advisor to ideas and approaches precious in a variety of sciences. layout of experiments and gear; category, sampling and dimension; research of experimental facts; blunders of dimension; chance, randomness and common sense; even more. fundamental for any researcher. 1952 variation. forty nine illustrations.
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Extra info for An Introduction to Scientific Research
5. WHAT IMPORTANT RESULTS HAVE BEEN OBTAINED RELEVANT TO A MATHEMATICAL SCIENCE OF COMPUTATION? In 1936 the notion of a computable function was clarified by Turing, and he showed the existence of universal computers that, with an appropriate program, could compute anything computed by any other computer. All our stored program computers, when provided with unlimited auxiliary storage, are universal in Turing's sense. In some subconscious sense even the sales departments of computer manufacturers are aware of this, and they do not advertise magic instructions that cannot be simulated on competitors machines, but only that their machines are faster, cheaper, have more memory, or are easier to program.
Meyer in 'On Formalism in Specifications' (Meyer, 1985, reprinted in this volume). As evidence of the need for formalism, Meyer describes the deficiencies of a fairly meticulously stated specification, in natural language, of a program implementing a very simple text formatter. In a careful analysis, Meyer uncovers numerous instances of the "seven sins of the specifier", as he calls them, including noise, overspecification, contradiction, and ambiguity. Meyer's recommendation: In our opinion, the situation can be significantly improved by a reasoned use of more formal specifications ....
If both the analytic and synthetic functions are given, we do not have the difficult and sometimes unsolvable analysis problems that arise when languages are described synthetically only. In ALGOL the relations between the analytic and the synthetic functions are not quite regular, namely the relations hold only up to an equivalence. Thus, redundant pareritheses are allowed, etc. 52 J. McCARTHY 13. SEMANTICS The analytic syntactic functions can be used to define the semantics of a programming language.