Computers Aren't Infallible

by Corinne S. Bernstein, Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1985, Vol. 55, Issue 10, Pg. 44-45

Document Type: Feature article


Blindly accepting answers just because they are computer-generated does not make for good engineering. Wrong answers may result from software, computer or input problems. Users and programmers are the main players in checking out computer answers. But reviewing and understanding the entire audit trail of a software package is not feasible for the average user. Verifying computer software is difficult at best, consultants agree. But, should we scrap our computers? No, they agree. As with any method of problem solving, verification of results rests with a thorough review of the computer product by experienced professionals.

Subject Headings: Computer software | Computing in civil engineering | Verification | Computer programming | Audits | Consulting services | Professional development

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