Retooling departments to teach open-access code languages

Mark Goldman
March 20, 2019

The proposal does a great job summarizing many issues of open access. Specifically, it proposes evaluating how software licenses can enhance or hinder reproducibility.

On the advocacy section (point 10), I would recommend adding "Promotion of coding language/software alternatives which enhance reproducibility within departmental curriculum (at both undergraduate and graduate levels)"

In my department (chemical engineering), the only language we are expected to know is MATLAB, which can hinder reproducibility in places without access to a license (or without its sub-packages). Because of only teaching this language, most research done in the department is using MATLAB even though decent alternatives exist, like julia, python, R, etc. I am not sure why the department has not switched, but I suspect it is due to lack of motivation (since faculty are already overworked). Understanding why departments continue to teach in non-open languages and helping them transition would improve how many others can build off of MIT's work.

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