The Struggle for Open Mathematics Software




Evans, Woody

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Information Today, Inc.


Google announced in September 2014 that it would be working with SageMath to power the new SageMathCloud. The collaboration throws down a gauntlet against claims of ownership of mathematical truths. Wolfram Research is arguably the world's dominant mathematics software provider. Since its release in 1988, its flagship Mathematica software has become the world's definitive system for modern technical computing, as its own ad verbiage says. Mathematica contains libraries of mathematical functions, computational tools for everything from machine learning to data mining, and even "free-form" inputs for natural English queries. Due to the cost and "closedness" of proprietary software such Mathematica and MATLAB, many "open" mathematics software projects have begun to appear. Beginning in the 1990s, the advent of Berkley Software Distribution licenses have allowed flexibility, general openness, and compatibility with the "General Public License" for many new mathematics software projects.



mathematics, computer science, software, open access, open source


Evans, W. 2015. "The Struggle for Open Mathematics Software." Online Searcher, 39 (2), 22-26.