Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Why I am choosing to use SageMathCloud as the platform for my Doctoral Research

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sage_iconIn the very first draft of my doctoral research proposal, I planned on using Excel to do the data mining involved in my research.  But, it quickly became apparent that Excel would be a poor tool for such a job, because it is inefficient for such tasks,  does not scale well, is not multi-user, and can become unstable with large data sets. So I started to look at what might be a good alternative, and SageMathCloud seems to be the nearly perfect answer.

Python was my first thought, as it is commonly used in data science, has Django as a great web framework, and is a good general purpose language with lots of libraries of additional functionality.  Plus it is quick and relatively easy to program.  But, as I got deeper into my research about how to do the data mining across the data sets, I soon found that R has far more statistical libraries than SciPy and other common data science Python libraries.  So, I was thinking about using both, with something like rpy2.  But, I didn’t know if I could do all this on my current web host (in fact I’m pretty sure I can’t).  And it would start to have me do more development that involved integrating technologies, rather than just using those technologies.

So when I re-discovered SageMath recently, which uses Python as its main programming language, with R very well integrated, and found that it has a very cool cloud-based service, SageMathCloud, that has a very reasonable cost, I quickly decided that it will be the platform that I will use for my research.

As I move forward on the development, I will be posting more.

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Written by Jacob Walker

November 1st, 2015 at 11:59 am

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