The jobs of today will not prepare our workers for the jobs of tomorrow. Technology is changing quickly and a large percentage of the current workforce will struggle to stay relevant in the next ten years. Unfortunately, with the demands of a full-time job and a family, most workers find it next to impossible to learn the skills of the future. The majority of positions will require some form of computational skills. However, the barrier to entry is significant, as the sheer amount of knowledge required to get started can discourage newcomers.
It is our firm belief that the most effective way to learn new computational skills is to routinely complete small projects, write a journal and teach others. To that end, we have built a self-directed learning platform to lower the barrier to entry for learning computational skills through three principles:
We hope that by making these habits easier, more people will find time to practice computational skills on a regular basis. We are motivated by the idea that anyone, regardless of their history, location or background, should have the opportunity to learn new skills and contribute useful tools to the world.
The CrossCompute Team
A tool is a computational script combined with a markdown interface that you can create and run in your browser.
There are two ways to add tools to your portfolio:
To provide an option for you to create tools directly in the browser, we integrated Jupyter Notebook into our website. Jupyter Notebook is broadly used in research and industry for prototyping code and supports a multitude of different programming languages.
Our website combines notebooks with our tool framework through a magic green button that converts the notebook into a CrossCompute Tool. This gives users the ability to not only create tools directly in a familiar notebook environment, but also modify code from existing tools to fit their needs.
If the author chooses to make their notebook public, then other users can run it as well. This can be a practical way for instructors to teach classes and for professionals to maintain technical blogs.
Save money on cloud computing expenses and take advantage of idle CPUs and GPUs by running queue workers on your own machines. Launch queue workers to generate results on your own machine when users run your tools. Queue workers are available in our tool framework.
Running a tool generates a result that the user can choose to share using a link or with the general public.
Our tool framework is a set of open source packages that we have created for converting a script and configuration file into a web tool. The tool framework forms the core of our website, being responsible for converting notebooks into tools, rendering tool interfaces and running queue workers. See our documentation or browse our repositories.
How would this benefit instructors? You can save time by dividing your class into examples and exercises. Students prefer working on exercises together during class when they have the opportunity to ask each other questions.
How would this benefit students? Students become more competitive in the job market when they give live demos of actual software they have built. Students showcase their best notebooks and tools on their profile and employers run them directly on our website.
How can I make sure that only specific people have access to my notebooks and tools? Be sure to set the visibility of the notebook or tool to be hidden, secure or secret. Hidden visibility means that the notebook or tool does not appear on your profile but can still be accessed via link. Secure visibility means that only specific people have access. Secret visibility means that only you have access.
Will I still have intellectual property over my code? Yes, our Terms of Service clearly state that you retain intellectual property rights over your code.
Do academic institutions get a discount? No, our Pricing is already quite generous.
What costs credits? Actions that cost credits have buttons that are clearly marked. You can also check prices on our Pricing page.
How would I use this in my class? Studies have shown interactive learning can keep students more engaged in learning material. Experimenting first hand provides a concrete understanding of technical concepts. We can help you prepare materials for and teach a class. Please contact us at email@example.com.
Economic theory dating back to the publication of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations in 1776 emphasizes the lesson that basic institutions that protect the liberty of individuals to pursue their own economic interests result in greater prosperity for the larger society.