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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

CORC—the Cornell computing language

CORC is an experimental computing language that was developed at Cornell University to serve the needs of a large and increasing group of computer users whose demands are both limited and intermittent. These are the laymen of the computing world, who chose to become as little concerned as possible in the computing process and mechanics, but who would like to benefit from the computational ability that is now commonplace. At a university most of the faculty and student users would fall into this category. In recognition of the current significance of the computer in every area of business, science and engineering there is increasing faculty interest in introducing some use of modern computation into the students' academic experience if this can be done without placing too great a burden on an already hard-pressed curriculum. But computing is not going to be widely used in mathematics and engineering courses if the mechanics of its use are a burden to either the teacher or the student, or if the time necessary to prepare, test and operate programs cuts significantly into the subject matter for which the course was intended. Some participation on the part of the student appears to be an academic virtue, as well as a practical economic necessity—we have never heard any university computing center expansionist, in his wildest moments, propose a completely closed shop programming-operating service for general undergraduate use. In their own research many of the faculty are in the same position as their students. They will use the computer if it is convenient to do so and if it does not involve a major diversion into a technical field which is essentially extraneous to the basic subject matter. The closed-shop computing service in which the professor has (in principle anyway) only to describe his problem to a professional is of course intended to serve this need but we believe it is axiomatic that no university computing center will ever be adequately staffed to

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