Standard Article

Computer Languages and Programs

  1. Catherine Lawrence,
  2. John H. Maindonald

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a14008

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Lawrence, C. and Maindonald, J. H. 2005. Computer Languages and Programs. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 2.

Author Information

  1. Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Computer languages are artificial languages that enable humans to give instructions to computer systems. Texts written in these languages are called computer programs or code. Influences that explain differences between languages include differences of historical development, of conceptual framework, and of intended use. The use of computer languages for writing large and complex programs raises major issues of program design. The use of computer languages for statistical analysis raises further issues that have been the subject of extensive discussion and research.


  • language;
  • program;
  • compiler;
  • interpreter