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Right now we have the following at the top of the FAQ:

What kind of questions can I ask here?

Computational Science - Stack Exchange is for for scientists doing science by heavy computations.

I think we should change the phrase "doing science by heavy computations". It isn't clear to me exactly what "heavy computations" are -- do you need to be running on a petascale machine to do "heavy computation"? Furthermore, I think that the site should not exclude questions that are not directly related to "heavy computation" (e.g., questions about numerical analysis, programming scientific codes, comparison of algorithms, etc.).

Fill in the blank: Computational Science - Stack Exchange is for ___________________.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is related to the "elevator pitch" question: meta.scicomp.stackexchange.com/questions/1/… $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ You know, you really should fix the double "for" immediately, that's really not good. $\endgroup$
    – casperOne
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 23:34

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I like the elevator pitch wordage

Computational Science - Stack Exchange is for questions and answers about computational methods used in technical disciplines.

  • I don't like the word scientists, too exclusive what about engineers or other areas
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    $\begingroup$ We can even shorten that to "...used in technical disciplines." if need be. $\endgroup$
    – J. M.
    Commented Dec 4, 2011 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ Yup, editting now. $\endgroup$
    – aterrel
    Commented Dec 4, 2011 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ "technical disciplines" is overly broad, I think. This could include people working in banks for example, quantitative analysts, I think they are called. Perhaps "science and engineering"? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 4, 2011 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, so somebody asking for help on why his PDE solver isn't working on Black-Scholes would be off-topic? $\endgroup$
    – J. M.
    Commented Dec 4, 2011 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ I think people working on computational methods in banks most certainly should be on topic. And programmers or anaylsts in: graphics, web analytics, actuaries, economists, ... $\endgroup$
    – aterrel
    Commented Dec 4, 2011 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ Should we change the name of the site: "Computational Science"? Does it exclude engineers, others? $\endgroup$
    – Yann
    Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ Well I would have called the site Scientific and Technical Computing. But Computational Science has more precedence. $\endgroup$
    – aterrel
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ I've made the change in the FAQ. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 0:16
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Perhaps just remove the word "heavy"? I agree it is ill-defined.

Alternatively, something like "scientists for whom computation is a significant part of their work" might be suitable. Or "questions about computation in a scientific context". Or "scientists making significant use of computation in their work" ("their work" could be excluded).Or "questions about computation as used in science".

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  • $\begingroup$ Or, "Q&A site for scientists who make and use computational methods"? $\endgroup$
    – J. M.
    Commented Dec 4, 2011 at 0:02
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with removing 'heavy' - it's both ill-defined, and there's still questions to be asked of the site even if the computation in question doesn't take days. $\endgroup$
    – Fomite
    Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 21:48

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