The development of efficient, reliable and inexpensive microelectronics has brought about a drastic reduction in the cost of computing time so that the programmer's time spent on a problem is no longer an insignificant part of the total cost. Furthermore, the rapid development of faster, larger and less expensive computers will soon make more computing capacity available than we can program for, even if every available programmer works two shifts a day, seven days a week. The obvious way out of this dilemma is to eliminate the need for a specialist programmer from a larger class of routine problems. For the last 18 months we have endeavored to develop such a system called AMTRAN (for Automatic Mathematical TRANslation) and this paper will review our progress so far. AMTRAN was inspired by a similar on-line system developed by Culler and Fried <supscrpt>1</supscrpt> and it shares many basic principles with the Klerer <supscrpt>2</supscrpt> May system. The development of AMTRAN was initiated by Seitz <supscrpt>3</supscrpt> and it is at present carried on by several of us in Huntsville <supscrpt>4,5</supscrpt>.
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