Abstract

A plan is presented for solving engineering problems with a high-speed digital computer in a central location for offices in remote cities. Included in this plan of operation is the transmission of data and calculated results to and from the computing center via the teletype or mail service. If the problems solved by a high-speed computer are restricted to those involving a large amount of computations; the cost of computing will be competitive with hand computations. This will leave engineers more time to interpret the computed results. Some additional advantages for using high-speed calculators are [1]computing errors can be reduced to a minimum, [2] more problems can be solved in a fixed length of time.

Introduction

Many oil producing companies have obtained digital computers of the medium or high-speed class. The use of such machines has been primarily in the accounting or research departments. However, the same equipment may be used to solve engineering problems. Since such machines involve the expenditure of a large amount of money either to rent or purchase, it behooves engineers to make the best use of such equipment.

There are several advantages to the use of a digital computer to solve engineering problems. These advantages are [1] engineers can spend more time in the work of analysis and less time doing hand computing; [2] computing errors can be reduced to a minimum; [3] more problems can be computed in a fixed length of time. It is often desirable to study the effect of changing one variable at a time over a wide range. This practice becomes practical with a high-speed digital computer.

The problems which are solved by engineers can be classified in three types:

  1. those involving a large number of computations per problem;

  2. those involving a small number of computations per problem, and the problem solved numerous times;

  3. problems involving a small number of computations and solved infrequently.

Of the three classes mentioned, an electronic digital computer has application in the first two types. Because of the costs involved in using a high-speed digital computer, problems involving a small amount of computations and solved infrequently [Item 3 above] can be performed more economically by hand.

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