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Julia is a fairly new programming language, targeted toward scientific (i.e. statistical) computing. It is dynamically-typed and high-performance (close to C and C++, faster than Python and R), and has some neat features like multiple dispatch and macros that make it a lot like Lisp.

I went through the manual and played around with the REPL—the language is very intuitive; I like the type system and the multiple dispatch (a method is a specific instantiation of a function for a particular set of argument types, and which method is run for a given function call is determined at run time from the types of all of the arguments—methods are not owned by any object); overall, it seems very promising, both as an interesting and unique programming language, and as a tool for computer science.

There doesn’t seem to be much use of Julia for Natural Language Processing as of yet, although there is one paper on Latent Dirichlet Allocation that used Julia to implement their algorithm. However, it seems to be gaining traction in the academic/scientific community (I heard about Julia from a student in our lab who was recommending it). It still lacks libraries compared to other languages, but that will only be solved through early adopters creating libraries for themselves.

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