It almost feels ridiculous to think that a language that first appeared in 1957 might be around today, more than 60 years later, and still be relevant. Yet, that’s precisely what happens with Fortran, a general-purpose, imperative language developed by IBM with a strong focus on numeric computation and scientific computing. The secret to its relevance and popularity is that Fortran’s foundations are so robust that no other language can show similar performance in computationally intensive tasks such as computational fluid dynamics, geophysics, and finite element analysis. All that explains why Fortran is also used to create programs for benchmarking.

Fortran (; formerly FORTRAN) is a general-purpose, compiled imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. Originally developed by IBM in the 1950s for scientific and engineering applications, FORTRAN came to subsequently dominate scientific computing.