Polymorphism is a programming style that is supported by C++ and other languages which allows objects of different classes to be treated in a common way and permits high level abstractions for C++ functions. With proper use, polymorphism can become the basis of robust, flexible code that anticipates future extensions without requiring modification to an existing code base. It underpins a programming style called object-oriented programming, which can be used to manage the complexity of a computing project, and which must be fully understood to function in a modern programming environment. The nuts-and-bolts of polymorphism and object-oriented programming, such as inheritance and virtual functions, are discussed and illustrated with examples from numerical programming.
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