Monday, December 4, 2023

The Sage Who Made Scientific Computing Transparent And Affordable


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Reviews about the software in various forums suggest that developers’ hard work has really paid off. “SageMath is easy to use and very powerful. And I like the server-client principle behind it. Go on with the great work, SageMath motivated me to take the step from C to Python in just a few hours,” comments Patrick Hammer, a user of the software.

“Sage is a work of art! It has a very clean syntax, is extremely well-documented and the coding is very clean. An average Python programmer like myself could create new functions in Sage. I have always wanted something like MATLAB but the price tag is a bit well… pricey for a 12-year-old. SAGE fits the bill perfectly,” says Dhaivat Pandya, who was then just 12 years old.

Is Sage giving up the game to its open source rivals?
The answer is ‘Definitely not!’ It is true that there is a negative increase in the user community for the software. Some users have migrated to other open source alternatives. Still, SageMath software is immensely used among mathematicians and the scientific research community.

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In one of the recent blogs, Prof. Smith identifies the reasons for the fall in the number of users. First, installation is not that easy. Second, limited resources in terms of books and supplementing resources make its usage difficult. Third, the software is missing key functionality needed in support of undergraduate teaching.

Developers are constantly trying to sort these issues out and provide adequate solutions. In order to overcome the issues related to installation, a full Web application called SageMathCloud was developed.

Open access books have been written for undergraduate courses based on this software. The software has been made more suitable for undergraduate STEM (short for science, tech, engineering and maths) courses.


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