Say you are taking a course on machine learning on Coursera. To practice problems, you need to install Octave, the open source interpreted language used mainly for numerical computations. It works well on Linux but if you are on a Windows machine, its a bit of a pain. It is equally painful with other such tools that are frequently used for mathematics or statistics.
With MathHarbor, you don’t have to go through all that trouble. The startup hosts open source tools for computational mathematics & statistics so that one doesn’t have to deal with installing and maintaining it on a local machine.
Currently MathHarbor supports Octave, Scilab, R and Sage. More are on the way, says Rudraksh MK, one of the founders of Delhi based MathHarbor. The startup wants to build a hub for computational mathematics for all sorts of sciences.
“We provide a platform for flexible and collaborative numerical and statistical modeling, on the cloud,” said Rudraksh, a math nerd himself. MathHarbor is also building a set of courses on introductory numerical computing for data science, astrophysics, cheminformatics, bioinformatics, geology and data journalism.
The platform will be useful for math students, professors, researchers and the scientific community. People with high numerical computing needs won’t have to worry about licensing costs or maintaining servers. “We want to remove these barriers by hosting open-source tools on an open cloud, so that Math nerds can concentrate on their numbers, and not on the grunge,” Rudraksh tells me. For now, the platform is free to use. It could cost about $10-$20 for a user when they start charging for it.
Juhi Goel, 22, and Vakul Arora, 26, are the other co-founders of the company. The team raised Rs 5 lakh from Morpheus recently.
We love the concept. But one has to be on the Internet to be able to use this. For individual users, this could be very useful. Most scientific and research institutions already have the licenses and software that they need (usually legacy). However, as R and other free statistical languages pick up, opportunities for such a service to help a user are also high.