What We Observe
As anyone in the science and engineering fields would know, Matlab is the de facto standard of scientific computing. In universities and technical schools, students are expected to know to use Matlab. Ironically, many students have only limited access to the software. In some smaller universities, Matlab licences are just like precious resources that can only be accessed at certain laboratories. Students are often told to buy an academic licence for personal use. However, most students, and even some instructors, are not willing to buy one, because they think it is expensive. It is indeed expensive for a software which they may use for a few basic functions only. They would rather download illegal copies from the internet. When a student says "getting a copy of Matlab", he or she really means getting an illegal copy.
In recent years, mobile devices become the primary computing device for students. They do most of their work on mobile devices because there are always good apps for their tasks. Unfortunately, Matlab's strategy towards mobile computing is disappointing. Matlab has a mobile app but it only has limited capability. It uses the cloud for computation. When a user runs a command in the app, it sends a request to the cloud for computation, and then the results are sent back to the user's app. This approach has several shortcomings:
We believe that Matlab should embrace a platform that most people love to use. They should produce a version that runs as a native mobile app using the device's local computing power. Dr. Cleve Moler, cofounder of MathWorks, once told us in a conference that MathWorks care less about the academia than the industry, because it is not a market where they can make money. This is indeed a disappointing comment.
In an attempt to fix the above-mentioned problems, we create SIMO. Our intention is simple: We strive to create a computation app that adopts the Matlab language and uses the device's local computing power. Our primary target is users from the academia. We provide the academia an affordable alternative to Matlab that runs on the modern computing platform they love to use.