# Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about words, phrases and definitions that are specific to computational science.

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### The name of an exotic number format: float with exponent bits replaced with another float

What is the name of the numeric data type where a float has its exponent bits replaced with another floating point value to use as the outer float's exponent? This is a tip-of-the-tongue problem, as I ...
656 views

### What is a well-posed problem?

I was reading the Wikipedia page for "Well-posed problems". Supposedly, if a problem is well-posed, it must meet the following conditions: a solution exists the solution is unique the ...
891 views

### Difference between asymptotic and non-asymptotic convergence in optimization?

I am reading some optimization methods and I am facing some issues with two terms "asymptotic and non-asymptotic convergence". What is the difference between them?
265 views

### A better word to indicate slowness/high latency?

We are comparing two techniques in computer science. We want to say X has "significantly high latency" when executed on system Y. Is there a better one-word term we can use for the above to ... 60 views

### When is a dynamical system periodic?

Say a system of ODEs describing a dynamical system, with solutions/state-space vectors ($x$, $y$, $\theta$). If values of $y$ and $\theta$ repeat but values of $x$ do not, would I say that the ...
90 views

### Is the sine function periodic in $x$ or $y$?

I know sine is $2\pi$-periodic, but some people say the motion is "periodic in..." Would it be periodic in $y$? If we move along the $x$-axis, the function values $y = \sin(x)$ will repeat, ...
1 vote
117 views

### Is the Immersed Boundary (IB) method a Direct Numerical Simulation?

Is the Immersed Boundary (IB) method considered a Direct Numerical Simulation? A DNS code is the most detailed type of simulation and the most accurate but computationally expensive, right? What makes ...
46 views

### Origin of phrase `computational microscope'

I have heard the term 'computational microscope' used to describe the practice of molecular simulation (in the context e.g. computational chemistry, materials science) and its use as a numerical tool ...
1 vote
566 views

### How to pronounce Eulerian when giving a talk? [closed]

When one gives a computational methods talk, what's the right way to pronounce "Eulerian"? Is it like oiler-ree-in, 5 syllables, or oh-lure-ree-in, 4 syllables? Langrangian is simple: Langrange-...
62 views

### Is "sensitivity" a term in numerical computation?

The section 4.2 "Poor Conditioning" in the book Deep Learning defines the condition number of the function $f(x) = A^{-1}x$ as \begin{align} \underset{i,j}{\max}~ \Bigg| \frac{\lambda_i}{ \...
2k views

### Difference between phenomenological modeling and mathematical modeling

Is there a difference between phenomenological modeling and mathematical modeling? When reading a few journal papers, I often see the former being used -- is it just fancier wording? If it's relevant,...
161 views

7k views

### Scientific computing vs numerical analysis

I'm a double major in computer science and mathematics. I love both subjects. I'm thinking in taking a graduate career, perhaps in scientific computing. What's the real difference between scientific ...
94 views

### Is there a single noun to indicate "the ordering (row-major or column major) used in an array"?

Is there a single noun that indicates unambiguously (to a computational scientist, at least) "the ordering (row-major or column major) used in an array"? For instance, the term endianness (or ...
204 views

### Name of an Optimization Approach to Reduce Size of Variable Space

I am dealing with an optimization problem that has a large number of variables to optimize over - for example let's call these variables $x$, $y$, and $z$ and I wish to minimize the function $f(x,y,z)$...
83 views

### Is there a term for Goodhart's Law in the context of optimization?

Let's say I'm optimizing something. To pick an arbitrary example, let's say I'm choosing the shape of some part to maximize strength-to-weight ratio. So I get some FEM software, parametrize the shape, ...
3k views

### Does this "reverse binary search" have a name?

Normally when searching in sorted sets, binary searches are a fast, nice and easy way to locate data. It does however break down in the hypothetical scenario of having a set of arbitrarily large but ...
547 views

### applications of computational geometry in fields such as CFD?

Out of curiosity, I was recently trying to search what skills are required to be successful as developer in scientific computing field (e.g. CFD or similar). And to do so, I was going to through ...
945 views

### What is "SOLVER" in R and Statistics/Analytics?

I tried to research what exactly is a SOLVER only to find a not clear-cut simple answer. My doubts still remain after going through several sites full of discussions about it. I need to clarify as to ...