Collaboration Yields Open Source Technology For Computational Science

Collaboration Yields Open Source Technology For Computational Science

Published By: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 10/28/2016

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The Eclipse Science Working Group has released five software projects focused on accelerating scientific progress via computing. The open-source projects make new solutions in data analysis and other science-rich computational fields available for free to anyone who wants them.

Extended Discussion Questions

  • How does open-source development increase the possibility of rapid advancement in computational science?
  • “Open source” means that the code is open to alteration and redistribution by everyone.¬†Are there any potential dangers with this kind of distribution? How can they be mitigated?
  • More traditional proprietary (“closed source”) solutions are backed by a central authority (e.g., Windows is maintained by Microsoft). The central authority usually has a strong interest in maintaining the software and addressing issues that arise. How does a less centralized “open source” model compare to the more traditional proprietary solutions in this regard? What are the pros and cons of each option?

Relating This Story to the CSP Curriculum Framework

Global Impact Learning Objectives:

  • LO 7.1.2 Explain how people participate in a problem-solving process that scales.
  • LO 7.2.1 Explain how computing has impacted innovations in other fields.

Global Impact Essential Knowledge:

  • EK 7.1.1O The Internet and the Web have impacted productivity, positively and negatively, in many areas.
  • EK 7.1.2D Human capabilities are enhanced by digitally enabled collaboration.
  • EK 7.2.1B Scientific computing has enabled innovation in science and business.
  • EK 7.2.1G Advances in computing as an enabling technology have generated and increased the creativity in other fields.
  • EK 7.3.1Q Open source and free software have practical, business, and ethical impacts on widespread access to programs, libraries, and code.

Banner Image: “Network Visualization – Violet – Crop 14”, derivative work by ICSI. New license: CC BY-SA 4.0. Based on “Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin Grandjean. Original license: CC BY-SA 3.0

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