The initial motive for developing APL was to provide a tool for writing and teaching. Although APL has been exploited mostly in commercial programming, I continue to believe that its most important use remains to be exploited: as a simple, precise, executable notation for the teaching of a wide range of subjects.

Kenneth E. Iverson— "A Personal View of APL",

I was appalled to find that the mathematical notation on which I had been raised failed to fill the needs of the courses I was assigned, and I began work on extensions to notation that might serve. In particular, I adopted the matrix algebra used in my thesis work, the systematic use of matrices and higher-dimensional arrays (almost) learned in a course in Tensor Analysis rashly taken in my third year at Queen’s, and (eventually) the notion of Operators in the sense introduced by Heaviside in his treatment of Maxwell’s equations.

Kenneth E. Iverson— "Kenneth E. Iverson", autobiographical sketch from an unfinished work (ca. 2004), on his experience at Harvard with "a Masters program in Automatic Data Processing in 1955; in effect, the first computer science program."

With the computer and programming languages, mathematics has newly-acquired tools, and its notation should be reviewed in the light of them. The computer may, in effect, be used as a patient, precise, and knowledgeable "native speaker" of mathematical notation.

Kenneth E. Iverson— Ch. 10, §D (Math for the Layman (1999))

Although mathematical notation undoubtedly possesses parsing rules, they are rather loose, sometimes contradictory, and seldom clearly stated. [...] The proliferation of programming languages shows no more uniformity than mathematics. Nevertheless, programming languages do bring a different perspective. [...] Because of their application to a broad range of topics, their strict grammar, and their strict interpretation, programming languages can provide new insights into mathematical notation.

Kenneth E. Iverson— Ch. 10, §D (Math for the Layman (1999))

The precision provided (or enforced) by programming languages and their execution can identify lacunas, ambiguities, and other areas of potential confusion in conventional [mathematical] notation.

Kenneth E. Iverson— Ch. 10, §D (Math for the Layman (1999))

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