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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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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. Dec 4 '11 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ Yup, editting now. $\endgroup$ – aterrel Dec 4 '11 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"? $\endgroup$ – Faheem Mitha Dec 4 '11 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. Dec 4 '11 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 Dec 4 '11 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ Should we change the name of the site: "Computational Science"? Does it exclude engineers, others? $\endgroup$ – Yann Dec 7 '11 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 Dec 8 '11 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ I've made the change in the FAQ. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Oxberry Jan 17 '12 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. Dec 4 '11 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 Dec 5 '11 at 21:48

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