Comments on the use of commercial hardware or software in a university research context.

I’m so glad you asked! 🙂

Research according to the dictionary implies an investigation or collection of information.  Research in science and engineering often also involves building or designing or trying something new that has never been considered before.  If you purchase a closed commercial system as the platform upon which to do your research there are many risks:

There are risks and costs associated with developing code or hardware in house as well. There are risks using open-source code developed by others who don’t necessarily share your own priorities. You have to balance all the factors together and make a decision that considers everything together.

But my advice for a research program is to pay close attention to the “openness” and flexibility of the system that you are considering to support your research. The goals and priorities of commercial systems can be at odds with the needs of a research program.

2010-08-30 11:34:07 -0500 - Written by curt