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October 2, 2019 45 min
In episode 22, we interviewed Robert Dodier from the Maxima project. After a brief introduction and a presentation of Robert's current uses for Maxima he introduced what is Maxima and what can be achieved with it. We discussed some core concepts of Maxima's language as well as how to access the documentation within the software to help users. Then discussion went on about the interesting origin story of Maxima and its origin as a tool for AI. We then talked about the current state of the project and how can someone provide help. As well as our usual quick questions, we had an interesting discussion about the social aspects within FLOSS and other self-organized projects. 00:00:17 Introduction 00:00:26 Presentation of Robert Dodier 00:02:01 The scope of Maxima and its application for Bayesian inferences 00:02:57 Why not use R or another programming language for Bayesian inferences? 00:05:03 When did he discover Maxima? 00:05:29 Maxima's core features stability since 2003 00:06:04 His 30 seconds elevator pitchfor Maxima 00:06:43 Reference manual and Maxima's documentation 00:07:52 Accessing Maxima's documentation 00:08:41 Comparison with Maple and Mathematica 00:10:50 The concept of "code equal data"? 00:12:54 Maxima's language complexity/simplicity 00:15:13 User interfaces for Maxima 00:16:24 Console interface for Maxima 00:17:12 Presentation of the resulting equations or results 00:17:46 Integrating Maxima and LaTeX 00:19:08 The origin story of Maxima 00:25:17 Licensing status before the relicensing to GPL 00:26:00 Maxima for undergrad students and researchers 00:28:33 Robert's contributions to the project and its self-organized structure 00:31:39 How many people are involved in the project 00:32:13 Communication channels for the project 00:32:52 Underlying technologies in Maxima 00:34:27 Ressources for newcomers 00:35:47 Robert's vision about FLOSS in science 00:36:26 Negative impacts of FLOSS on science 00:37:25 The most notable scientific discovery in recent years 00:39:22 Robert's favourite text processing tool 00:40:04 The social aspect of FLOSS 00:42:34 Anything else he wanted to share with us? 00:43:39 How to contact Robert 00:43:57 Outro
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