I am a graduate geology student and have been using MATLAB for about a year now. I began learning C a while back to have a broader tool-set to work with but found that it just got in the way of learning material more specific to my major. Besides, MATLAB does everything I need anyway. That being said, I do appreciate that free compilers are available for languages like C and Fortran and that they can execute models more quickly. I began to read an introductory text on Fortran the other day and it seems to be easier to learn than C. Perhaps like MATLAB, it is designed more for numerical analysis than general applications. My question is this: is there really any advantage for someone like me to learn C instead of Fortran? I do not plan to write programs for a living, the standard tool-set used by the USGS to model groundwater flow (MODFLOW) is already written mostly in Fortran, and C seems to have a steeper learning curve and does not seem to execute programs any more quickly. I am probably opening an old can of worms. I guess I am wondering why someone who works primarily with numerical analysis or modeling (in an academic sense rather than industrial) and does not plan to market themselves as a programmer upon graduation should learn C rather than Fortran. Cool tricks aside, why should C be the standard for serious numerical work rather than Fortran? Thanks!