➡️ This is an appeal to educators/people who have a say about what scientists/students are taught.
➡️ My argument is that the way Matlab's taught & the typical culture around it isn't ideal & can be improved.
Absolutely not. That is not the point #openscience makes at all. For example, a lot of science in the 20th century was closed, we still stand on their shoulders & build on their work.
So why pay and for a substandard service?
Keep your money, unis! 💸
Generalisable skills is the whole point. Technology changes and if we can't adapt we're stuck or at least somewhat inconvenienced when we have to move.
IMHO Matlab can make it harder than absolutely no programming knowledge to switch to another language.
But an amodal representation in our minds is actually really important. Imagine if every time you had to talk about something you had to Google a picture of it.
As children, for example, we initially count on our fingers, but that is not a way to graduate to doing arithmetic. Eventually we need to learn numerals, symbols, and abstract thought!
GUIs are not all bad, but they can impair learning if used unwisely.
Or try Octave which doesn't always work cos Matlab is both closed & has no BNF. 😱
👉 closed source means closed science! 👈
Everybody makes compromises for many reasons and some are very valid/ethical, but to deny that Matlab is not #openscience is pointless.
"as a programming language, MATLAB is a terrible choice. However, I found out that to some people this isn't actually obvious at all - especially when their first exposure to programming was through MATLAB."
As usual, please feel free to ask any questions.
Why do many educators not teach psych/neuro students at all levels some basic coding skills?
This is a massive disservice. And I will elaborate some of the reasons given and why they are bunk.
I will go over the ones I have seen and address them.
Being a therapist/clinician isn't easy.
And stats, which we do teach, isn't easy.
So you'll prob not lose anybody quite the opposite they'll prob love it:
Students might want GUIs but so what? Of course, GUIs are not all bad, they have their uses. RStudio is a very appropriate GUI/IDE to teach stats. Besides...
They can actually. This is trash rhetoric.
English is hard. Not everybody is Maya Angelou or William Shakespeare. Not everybody is going to win a Nobel in Literature. We still learn basic English.
Saying that some can’t learn to code is a ridiculous, pessimistic, and elitist argument that only results in skills gatekeeping.
The sooner we start teaching kids to code, the better! theguardian.com/technology/201…
Well, yes and no. It’s possible to teach them coding as a direct means to an end, as I mentioned, see:
All teaching is hard. It takes time and is going to require sacrifices. It’s a massively undervalued and underpaid profession (no coincidence it’s undervalued and it’s feminised often).
We can and it’s really useful for them, they say so often themselves to me and on Twitter, e.g., here:
You don't have to listen to me. But I’ve taught psychology A-level students and undergraduates in class, as well as PhD students mostly by begging them to teach themselves. 😂
All the hype around coding helps!
We can/do teach them w/out scoping. Pedagogical principle: teach, e.g., about 3 states of matter. Don’t go “oh, there’s also Bose-Einstein condensate”.
It’s normal for the skills of students to vary. A teacher should cope. It’s also why we should shield students from, e.g., the male geek trope.