Contact: Andrew Rice and Matthew Danish, Computer Lab
Mentor: Adrian Swinburne
For more information: See CamFort on GitHub

FORTRAN was one of the first computer languages to became widely used in the 1970s and 80s, in particular being used as a way to carry out computational modelling. As well as providing the underlying code base for many software systems that are in use today, new FORTRAN code is still being produced in scientific disciplines such as Physics and climate modelling.

The researchers at the Computer Lab have developed an open source tool called CamFort for the analysis and verification of FORTRAN code. It includes a lightweight verification method to check that the code performs to its specification, and a route to modernise old code bases and make them more intelligible and maintainable.

The CamFort tool has been trialled at a small scale with Bloomberg, Cambridge Econometrics and with researchers at the Cavendish Laboratory. One of the authors of the tool will also be working closely with the Met Office over the next year to integrate CamFort with their existing tools and processes.

The questions for the i-Team include assessing where FORTRAN is still in use across academia and the commercial world, and speaking with experts in those fields to discover which features of the CamFort tool are most important in each sector. They should also investigate possible future commercial models for the tool and the acceptability of these to the various market sectors.