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What would increase usage of MATLAB in the professional (scientific/industrial, non-student) world?



M Adli Hawariyan
M Adli Hawariyan on 1 Jul 2022 at 1:47
Publication to universities within G20 country-below scope (ASEAN will be good), with some discounts for matlab and certification, so indirectly some companies will look up more about useing the apps.
Alexander Denman
Alexander Denman on 30 Jun 2022 at 15:03
From a neuroscience perspective:
People often say that Python makes sharing research code easier / more accessible to a wider audience, but this is only true in some ways. Getting research code shared in the form of Python packages to ACTUALLY WORK can be a struggle. Also, documentation of Python packages in other languages than English is often spotty.
So if I were advertising MatLab to researchers, I'd say "MATLAB: It just works."
Vijay Iyer
Vijay Iyer on 30 Jun 2022 at 16:12
Thank you Alexander for sharing this perspective. It's great to hear how you're seeing the MATLAB packaging and documentation helps to broaden access in neuroscience.
I'm focused here on supporting neuroscience users and use cases. Always love to hear what's working well and I have an equal appetite to know anything users think could be better. Just reached out separately in case you ever want to DM your observations or ideas.
Matthew Koebbe
Matthew Koebbe on 28 Jun 2022 at 15:21
Offering free courses to the corporate world would help a lot. After all, there are many of us engineers who had our Masters degrees before MATLAB was invented, plus, as other have mentioned, the engineers who graduated from schools where it wasn't offered.
Michelle Hirsch
Michelle Hirsch on 28 Jun 2022 at 16:21
We are making good progress with this:
hth!
Siddhesh Deodhar
Siddhesh Deodhar on 26 Jun 2022 at 5:54
Boosting University involvement is necessary in developing countries like India. In most Indian Universities majority of the engineering students do not use MATLAB for designing their projects. Most of them do not even have an idea how much MATLAB can help in their projects.
KSSV
KSSV on 26 Jun 2022 at 5:59

IIT's, NIT's and reputed colleges have MATLAB license and students use it.

Siddhesh Deodhar
Siddhesh Deodhar on 26 Jun 2022 at 6:02
My most I meant universities below tier 1.
Tycho Bömer
Tycho Bömer on 8 Jun 2022 at 14:22
Start indexing at 0, like every other language
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2022 at 15:03

I think

    ALGOL 98
    APL
    AWK
    CFML
    COBOL
    Fortran
    FoxPro
    Julia
    Lingo
    Lua
    Mathematica
    PL/I
    RPG
    R
    Ring
    Sass
    Smalltalk
    XPath/ XQuery

would be surprised to learn that they are not programming languages.

Ashwin Chander
Ashwin Chander on 1 Jun 2022
MATLAB is very popular in both industy and academia but when it comes to reseaearch projects in instatitutins and colleges, even though MATLAB consists of wide variety of tools, the students and faculties generally prefer Open sourced softwares, because its generally harder to obtain genuine licence for MATLAB because of its pricing. If there was certain level of open source aspect to MATLAB or lowered pricing then by my estimate the usage of MATLAB in industry and scienifc research would shoot up drastically.
cui
cui on 1 Jun 2022
Properly reduce the price of the software is conducive to the benign and sustainable development of the software, I am a personal fan of more than 10 years, living in China, for commercial use offer, it is too expensive, so I want to use the home version, but why has not supported matlab China home version to buy? I hope TMW will consider the purchasing power of ordinary Chinese people!
Bernardo Campilho
Bernardo Campilho on 29 May 2022
As long as MATLAB is not free, it will never come close to catching up with Python, it's as simple as that, I think.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 30 May 2022
I think it would also have to be made Open Source, in that there are people who refuse to use proprietary products even when the products are no cost.
I am not personally recommending that MATLAB be made Free Open Source Software (FOSS), but I do acknowledge that "good enough" software gains a fair advantage from being FOSS.
Asis Gir
Asis Gir on 26 May 2022
Make research licence accessable with student's own laptop too. My university has research license but that can be used only in lab computer and I cannot install it on mine. I want t be able to work online at home.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 27 May 2022

There are Dedicated Computer licenses ("lab computer"). Those are tied to the machine rather than any user. But Education licenses other than those permit multiple installations, which is not the case for Student or Home licenses.

Michelle Hirsch
Michelle Hirsch on 26 May 2022
Hopefully your school will adopt a Campus Wide License. This lets students, researchers, faculty, etc all put MATLAB on their own computers. It even lets you share your license with research collaborators if they don't have their own license.
Matt J
Matt J on 26 May 2022
One of the things I always thought was missing in MathWorks pricing strategy on commercial licenses was a way of scaling the price according to business size. Obviously, small businesses are going to find the price of MATLAB significantly more of an encumbrance than large companies, and are more likely to turn to free alternatives.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 27 May 2022

I have skipped consulting opportunities because I can't justify asking the client to pay full commercial price for me to use a toolbox to help them. There are only a small number of core toolboxes that I could be somewhat confident of being able to recoup the cost of.

Michelle Hirsch
Michelle Hirsch on 26 May 2022
MathWorks now has a startup license that's quite affordable for new small companies. It's not a complete solution, but perhaps a good start.
DGM
DGM on 25 May 2022
Oh that's easy, and there are lots of different ways. The only hard part might be making sure that it can't be legally classified as bribery.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 24 May 2022

Industry and academic is becoming increasingly hostile to any product that is not Free And Open Source. If the goal is to increase MATLAB use beyond any other goal, it needs to be made FOSS.

There is a hypothesis from some people that making MATLAB FOSS would somehow ensure that MATLAB would thrive and be high-quality indefinitely. Masses of people would, hypothetically, invest countless volunteer hours into enhancing and maintaining the software.

It's a hypothesis. Other people have doubts about the accuracy of the hypothesis.

Ive J
Ive J on 24 May 2022
After years of enjoying MATLAB, I believe this will be the main reason why MATLAB will gradually lose the ground (at least in data science, statistics, ML, bioinformatics and computational biology).
A quick look at Stackexchange/overflow or popular Github repositories simply proves this point. This forces researchers to trun to well-maintained R/Python/C tools/packages/libraries instead. I've seen several packages (in R and Python) that can be implemented in MATLAB with a better (or at least the same) performance and fewer lines of codes; though no one's interested in closed source tools. Sadly, MATLAB's users in these realms, tend to fall. I really hope TMW can think of something in near future!
KSSV
KSSV on 24 May 2022
I feel that most of packages/ functions available in open source softwares (Python/R etc.) are either lifted, copied, inspired from MATLAB. I never felt any package missing in MATLAB. If something misses, I would find it in fileexchange or github.
Ive J
Ive J on 24 May 2022
Well that's not entirely accurate for most statistical packages mainly developed in R (we shouldn't forget the fact that R is target language for statisticians). A simple example is penalized logistic regression methods such as Firth, which is missing from MATLAB. This is only one out of several examples in bioinformatics (TMW does not heed Bioinformatics toolbox and improvements are minor). Although I totally agree on fundamental functionalities (after all, MATLAB is older!) e.g. matrix manipulations which has inspired e.g. Panda library of Python.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 24 May 2022

I suspect that the majority of students are not all that concerned about utmost performance. If it takes 10 minutes execution in Python then is it worth chasing to get down to say 4 minutes in MATLAB? Most would never know it was a possibility, most don't need to care, not for anything other than a major project. And if the choice is $50 for a good product or free for an acceptable one...

Ive J
Ive J on 24 May 2022
For undergrads, yes, but not for research which is of concern of postgrds or researchers in general. An example comes to my mind is handling big genotype data (usually > 100 GB), which is quite tempting from a computational biologist's perspective. C/C++/Java tools aside, MATLAB can compete with similar packages developed in Python/R. But as alluded before, researchers are reluctant to put effort developing a MATLAB toolbox since it's closed source. We also see more journals encouraging to use as many open source languages/tools as possible. There are of course more reasons why MATLAB cannot stay in this battle for so long, not at least in computational biology/bioinformatics (I've seen only few life data science job ads listing MATLAB as a prerequisite, and almost all focus on Python/R). I assume MATLAB auidences are mostly engineers rather statisticians/bioinformaticians, and maybe that's why TMW is not so worried of this competition.
Ashwin Chander
Ashwin Chander on 1 Jun 2022
Totally agreed, I have observed that Postgrads, and engineering students increasing prefer open surcd software in fields sch as machine learning or dep learning. But MATLAB s an industry standard in automotive companies where companies increasing use simulink models, MATLAB scripting and simulink blocks for code generation for ECUs in the vehicles, even though python has gained some use but its still marginal. Hence in certain field such as automotive industry i feel MATLAb still doesn't have any alternative, but in oher fields, organisations and especially in educaional institutions the move is towards open souced software.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 26 May 2022
It is common for student pricing for software packages to be "loss leaders" -- priced at or below costs in the hope of driving future sales. A student who does not use MATLAB is unlikely to recommend MATLAB.
Thus, when I hear of university after university converting courses away from MATLAB and into Python because Python is "free", then I get concerned. Python is doing a better job of "brand familiarity", which is a long-term problem.
We get asked "Is MATLAB worth the price?". The answer to that is that in "professional" and "semi-pro" environments, yes, it is often worth it. But there are lot of environments in which a "good enough" free tool will be used because it is free... and people are often very weak on accounting for time and opportunity and quality. If it costs (say) $5000 per team member to get MATLAB and appropriate toolboxes, then that is a guaranteed cost. Will it "save" each team member about a few weeks of time per year to be worth the cost? That's debatable, difficult to prove.
"Boss, I'm gonna save $50000 by moving the team to Python" is concrete. The more thorough might continue with "I anticipate this will slow us down for the first 6 months due to learning curve, so on a one-year basis it might put us behind a bit". But then "But I figure we will have caught up in productivity by 1 year, and the second year would be pure savings, perhaps 2 weeks behind where we would have been otherwise -- and it is a lot easier to hire new Python grads for cheap than new grads with MATLAB experience" would often be persuasive.
Omar Longoria
Omar Longoria on 23 May 2022
Develop some courses for the industry from the universities
Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 23 May 2022
What courses do you feel are missing from Mathworks huge training catalog that Universities already have and could be transferred/adapted?
KSSV
KSSV on 23 May 2022
Well, I feel MATLAB got quite a good following and fame. MATLAB is popular in academia and with students.
In my opinion
(i) Adjusting the pricing would gather more mass. Pricing can be linked with one's contribution to research and publications using MATLAB. If an individual publishes a research article using MATLAB, give them a discount.
(ii) Most people think MATLAB is slow; due to their limited knowledge of MATLAB coding. This misconception should be eliminated by conducting workshops, especially at the student level.
(iii) Highlight the MATLAB parallel computing capabilities.
(iv) Conduct more workshops showcasing MATLAB success stories and pointing out how easy coding in MATLAB is and how effective a problem can be coded in MATLAB.
(V) Conduct hackathons at the student level and scientific contribution level.
(vi) Sponsor research. Pick the researchers and let them showcase their work and how MATLAB made their life easy.
(vii) List all the publications (published work using MATLAB everywhere) on the MathWorks page.
(viii) Invite researchers and conduct MATLAB alone symposia.
Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 22 May 2022
Link to all polls: Polls
For #1 I was thinking of web, and print advertising as well as appearing at more trade shows and scientific symposia. This could also include some MATLAB-only symposia like the Mathworks hosted symposium this month where everyone was invited to attend.
For #2 I was thinking of perhaps contacting local and national news networks with some cool new scientific discovery where they used MATLAB to show the public the power of MATLAB.
For #3, anything specific, other than just "make it free or cheaper"? Be creative in your suggestion.
For #4 I was thinking of funding specific research if that research would use MATLAB and publish it.
For #5 I was thinking of increasing the proactive involvement of Mathworks in universities to get the students hooked on MATLAB so that they continue to use it after they graduate from the university and get a real job.

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