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Several factors must be considered when applying numerical methods: 1 the conditions under which the method yields a solution, 2 the accuracy of the solution, 3 whether the solution process is stable i. The requirements of big-data scientific problems, including the solution of ever larger systems of equations, engage the use of large and powerful arrays of processors called multiprocessors or supercomputers that allow many calculations to proceed in parallel by assigning them to separate processing elements. These activities have sparked much interest in parallel computer architecture and algorithms that can be carried out efficiently on such machines.

Graphics and visual computing is the field that deals with the display and control of images on a computer screen. This field encompasses the efficient implementation of four interrelated computational tasks: rendering, modeling, animation , and visualization.

Graphics techniques incorporate principles of linear algebra, numerical integration , computational geometry , special-purpose hardware, file formats, and graphical user interfaces GUIs to accomplish these complex tasks. Applications of graphics include CAD, fine arts, medical imaging , scientific data visualization, and video games. CAD systems allow the computer to be used for designing objects ranging from automobile parts to bridges to computer chips by providing an interactive drawing tool and an engineering interface to simulation and analysis tools.

Fine arts applications allow artists to use the computer screen as a medium to create images, cinematographic special effects , animated cartoons, and television commercials. Medical imaging applications involve the visualization of data obtained from technologies such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging MRIs to assist doctors in diagnosing medical conditions. Scientific visualization uses massive amounts of data to define simulations of scientific phenomena, such as ocean modeling, to produce pictures that provide more insight into the phenomena than would tables of numbers.

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Graphics also provide realistic visualizations for video gaming, flight simulation, and other representations of reality or fantasy. The term virtual reality has been coined to refer to any interaction with a computer-simulated virtual world. A challenge for computer graphics is the development of efficient algorithms that manipulate the myriad of lines, triangles, and polygons that make up a computer image. In order for realistic on-screen images to be presented, each object must be rendered as a set of planar units. Edges must be smoothed and textured so that their underlying construction from polygons is not obvious to the naked eye.

In many applications, still pictures are inadequate, and rapid display of real-time images is required. Both extremely efficient algorithms and state-of-the-art hardware are needed to accomplish real-time animation. For more technical details of graphics displays, see computer graphics. Human-computer interaction HCI is concerned with designing effective interaction between users and computers and the construction of interfaces that support this interaction.

HCI occurs at an interface that includes both software and hardware. User interface design impacts the life cycle of software, so it should occur early in the design process. Because user interfaces must accommodate a variety of user styles and capabilities, HCI research draws on several disciplines including psychology , sociology , anthropology , and engineering.

Parallel Computer Organization and Design

In the s, user interfaces consisted of computer consoles that allowed an operator directly to type commands that could be executed immediately or at some future time. Thus, the field of HCI emerged to model, develop, and measure the effectiveness of various types of interfaces between a computer application and the person accessing its services. GUIs enable users to communicate with the computer by such simple means as pointing to an icon with a mouse or touching it with a stylus or forefinger. This technology also supports windowing environments on a computer screen, which allow users to work with different applications simultaneously, one in each window.

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