I teach computing to 18 year olds. After having reverse polish notation (RPN) explained to them, one asked why is it significant enough to be in the public exam. I explained the historical significance of ’70s calculators, but this failed to really address the issue.

So, are there any modern practical or theoretical applications of RPN?

**Answer**

I’ve used RPN several times for rapid prototyping, e.g. of programs that have to read and interpret a user-supplied mathematical expression.

Whereas regular mathematical notation would require at least a recursive parser (think brackets, operator order, etc…), an RPN parser is basically a stack with a `switch`

-like statement. I guess it’s this combination of simplicity and expressive power that led HP to use it initially.

This is, however, usually for rapid prototyping and for convenience. I would never assume that a user can, or wants to, understand RPN.

**Attribution***Source : Link , Question Author : Matt Scott , Answer Author : Pedro*