Julia is an open-source language that combines the speed of "compiled" languages such as Fortran and C with the interactivity and syntax of "scripting" languages such as Python, Matlab, and R.
The language, created by Alan Edelman and others at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012, has been downloaded about 9 million times, and is now listed among with the world's 50 most-popular programming languages.
Users normally code in Julia using the REPL (read–evaluate–print loop) console, an interactive text-based interface that evaluates the input and returns the results to the user.
Jane Herriman, who is studying materials science at the California Institute of Technology, says that she has seen tenfold-faster runs since rewriting her Python codes in Julia.
Michael Stumpf, a systems biologist at the University of Melbourne in Australia who has ported computational models from R, says he has seen an 800-fold improvement.
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