This article focuses on research underway to build uncertainty into supercomputer simulations of hypersonic flight engines. A team of researchers headquartered at Stanford University is trying to quantify the uncertainty inherent in their supercomputer computations so that engineers can build appropriate tolerances into their designs. The group is investigating hypersonic aircraft, which would fly through the atmosphere at six or twelve times the speed of sound—and in particular the engine that might power such flight. The resulting simulation, scientists believe, will give a more accurate depiction of reality than a simulation that doesn’t correct for computational uncertainty. In the process of conducting their research, group members have created a new computer language that will make it easier to program and run complex simulations on the supercomputers of the future. This programming language of the future separates the computation from the coding.

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