A new course teaches interested students how to use and apply computational techniques in real-world problems like placing cell phone towers and landing spacecrafts. The course developed by MIT Schwarzman College for Computing began last fall, as a multi department initiative with the Common Ground for Computing Educations aims to combine other disciplines in coming up with solutions.

The course sets programming on the subject of engineering and computational science, focused on inventive applications of computation, it will take about half a semester to complete.

Most students who applied for the course are currently studying astronautics, math, or aeronautics. Students can take the course during the first or second year, when they have not yet decided on a major, as it can serve as an eye-opener in many fields.

Course Developers Provide Insights about the Goals of the Faculty

According to Professor Applied Mathematics Laurent Demanet, who designed the course in collaboration with David Darmofal, Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the goal of the faculty is to cover the basic aspects of computational science and engineering.

The foundational principles of learning focus on optimization, uncertainty quantification and simulation. These principles are paired with ponderable examples that are relatable to students who are not exactly computer science majors. Built around solid real-life examples, completion of the course provides a sense of knowing how a lot of real-life problems can be solved with the use of computational models.
Lectures under the course tackle fundamental equations relevant to a specific problem; citing as an example Newton’s law of motion in relation to a Mars landing. Students will then express the basic equations in algorithm.

Professor Demanet adds that the skills-based class combines math with computer science and science, to make sure their students will develop skills that can be used everywhere in their future studies and endeavors.

The term XaaS or Everything-as-a-Service is a cloud computing term that describes various applications and services over the Internet. Originally known as the SaaS or Software-as-a-Service but accessed from site premises, the cloud computing services now includes emerging apps and platform services that can be accessed on-demand via the Internet. Everything-as-a-Service gives customers greater flexibility in tailor-fitting their computing environments in ways that meet their desired experience.

Prior to the introduction of XaaS, businesses had to purchase every SaaS programs they needed to optimize their business processes. Today, they only have to pinpoint what they need and subscribe to a particular platform service. The approach is very handy as they can also businesses can simply add new components any time. As opposed to the time when computing developments required linking together the servers, hardware, software and other components they purchased, XaaS has made cloud computing more simple yet handy.

Examples of Services Offered by XaaS

Unlike SaaS, XaaS offers a broader range of services that include but not limited to IT-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Database-as-a-Service, Function-as-a-Service and Security-as-a-Service.

Since applications have become more portable, XaaS enables vendors to form cross-platform arrangements, data integration platforms and streamline connectivity, which makes real-time computing cycles much easier to complete. However, the quality of service depends on reliable Internet connectivity and strong cloud services.

XaaS also lets business organizations manage virtual machines or VMs being hosted remotely in a vendor’s data center when configuring and deploying VMs.

Cloud computing has become mainstream and is still growing, since more businesses are shifting to ecommerce, whilst harnessing every available cloud solution. Yet an emerging technology known as Edge Computing has recently been trending, promoting many to ask if poses as a better solution Cloud Computing.

According to Nima Negahban, CTO of Kinetica, Edge Computing in simpler words is data analysis that happens live in a device and in real-time. The difference of Cloud Computing and Edge Computing is that the latter is focused on locally processing the data. The former is about processing data on a public cloud or a data center.

Red Hat chief technology strategist E.G Nadhan described Edge Computing as the science of letting Edge Devices do all the work without need to transfer data to a server environment.

Main Distinction of Edge Computing From Cloud Computing

Principal analyst with ABI Research, Ryan Martin, compares cloud and edge computing to the investment structure called hub-and-spoke model. Describing the Cloud as the Hub, while everything not inside the Hub is the edge, enabling organizations to move decision making and analytics closer to the production of data.

Edge Computing was invented to solve the problems of Cloud Computing, which suffers from latency when getting data to datacenter for processing. With the increasing use of devices working on the Internet of Things (IoT), Edge Computing is also projected to grow, as market analyst project it will be worth $6.72 billion by 2022.

After all, this new technology trend is already in wide use, from optimization of streaming video to its use in smart watches, in analyzing traffic flow, in managing drone-enabled crop management, and in monitoring the safety of oil rigs.This trend will not only grow but will create new jobs for people in the industry, particularly software engineers.

Vendors of collaboration and conferencing technologies are offering free use of their tools and services to help organizations in weathering the Covid-19 crisis.

Aside from leading vendors Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Slack, Zoho, Zoom and Logheim, other unified communications software providers such as Atlassian, CafeX, 8×8, GForge, Igloo, LumApps, RingCentral, StarLeaf, Wrike and Facebook’s Workplace. A comprehensive list that include descriptions of the free tools and services offered by these vendors can be gleaned from the website of ComputerWorld.com.

Apparently work-at-home arrangements and tele-conferencing have become the norm ever since governments worldwide mandated travel bans, lockdowns, shelter-in-place and social distancing orders to the general public.

In having awareness that many companies are currently working on reduced resources after investors started selling off their shares, each of the tech companies listed above has something to offer at no cost; including upgrade of packages to make certain types of advanced collaboration and remote conferencing tools accessible to existing and new free users.

Some Examples of Collaboration and Conferencing Tools Being Offered Free of Costs

Igloo Software, a mainstream digital workplace provider offering a “Business Continuity Bundle” to help new and existing customers set up and organize a remote work setup. Igloo’s free use of the bundle is up to July 06, 2020, which includes collaboration hubs for news communication and holding conferences with their respective incident planning teams. The bundle also offers a secure place where company leaders can maintain communication.

LogMeIn recently that its video conferencing software “GoToMeeting” is available for free use for three months. Specifically to educational institutions, health care providers, local government offices and nonprofit organizations.

Unified communications vendor 8×8 for one, even before the Covid-19 crisis, offers a free version of its 8×8 Video Meetings standalone app. Now 8×8 offers full-feature use at no cost; including the company’s recently announced real-time closed captions and transcription tools, and plug-ins that allow users to directly schedule meetings via Google and Outlook calendars.

Cisco, updated its free Webex offer with features that enable users in certain countries to hold teleconferencing with up to 100 participants. Webex customers can now sign-up for a free, 90-day licence to access unlimited usage of the additional features.

Facebook’s Workplace, one of the paid services offered by the social network that typically charges users $4 per month, is offering free use of the platform to emergency-services units and government agencies, for 12 months.

An understanding of what makes a product a software solution has gained importance since not a few software developers and vendors are inclined to calling individual applications or bundle of applications as software solutions.

In the world of Information Technology (IT), applications bundled together as mere combinations, does not quite make it as a software solution. Not unless the provider integrates service to its product suite in order to fully and successfully address a particular problem when dealing with complicated situations while carrying out their business by way of computer technology.

The distinction therefore between a simple application and a combination of applications sold as a single package is that the former is just a “product.” Vendors bundling several applications into one package, are into selling “product suites.”


Now if a software vendor adds value to their product by including a mix of customization, implementation,consulting and similar services to their programs, with a commitment to solve a particular problem encountered by a business entity in the computing environment, then that supplier is a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) offering a set of services and software designed to deal with a specific IT problem.

Citing Customer Relationship Management Software Solutions as Example

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is that aspect of a business that deals with an organization’s method of handling and managing varying relationships with different people; be they customers, suppliers, service providers and the like, whose interest or connection to the enterprise is intertwined throughout the lifecycle of its business.

A CRM software solution for this niche is one that furnishes services and solutions from point of inquiry up to point of sales. The solution offered goes beyond furnishing applications for sales and marketing system; but is all encompassing by including programs and services for addressing related human resource issues, handling of customer services and management of the supply chain, all for the purpose of increasing business productivity leading to stability and profitability.

When seeking to become part of the growing mobile shopping industry, envision the kind of online shopping store you plan to roll out. Start with establishing your type of ecommerce; whether you intend to sell directly to consumers ( business-to-consumer or B2C) or do online trade with other business entities (business-to-business or B2B).

Next, visualize the kind of selling experience you intend to create for your customers, as doing so will help you decide on the kind of ecommerce platform to use in building your website. No need to hold back on the kind of features and functions you plan to incorporate. Unlike before, there are now open source platforms available to use and modify in ways you want your e-business website to perform.

Have a look at Magento Commerce, an open source ecommerce platform that affords power to create a business website envisioned as unique and a cut above the rest. When it comes to providing customer experience, Magento Commerce offers an array of out-of-the-box features that give programmers unsurpassed ability to customize, integrate with third-party service providers and enhance with a broad selection of business extensions.

Magento Commerce Main Features and Benefits

One’s vision of a unique ecommerce website depends on one’s concept of meaningful customer experience. Yet it all boils down to giving customers opportunity for interacting with product brands by way of rich page content; and from those pages, avenues open to allow seamless shopping experience.

Although such goals are standard, realization is made possible by intelligent and efficient operations. More importantly, as an open source platform, Magento Commerce allows business operators to redefine a website’s concept of seamless shopping, by modifying features and services in ways that keep up with current popular demands and trends.

Magento’s Page Builder

Page Builder is a powerful tool for creating contents that permit customers to view images and videos, product detail pages and other pages for discovering new products. Moreover, the Page Builder tool is capable of displaying products, promotions and pricing preferences, customized based on customer location, order history, gender, wish list choices and more.

Creating content is not confined to standard layout as the Page Builder tool allows flexibility of design without need for codes. More importantly, all content pages furnish a smooth path to product purchase.

There are several other features afforded by this tool that empower an ecommerce website to create and fashion contents in the most visually appealing and purchase-supportive ways possible.

Shop Anywhere, Everywhere and Anytime Features

This Magento Commerce feature handles mobile shopping aspects that apply to any device. Capabilities include adjusting designs, layouts, images, and menus to fit the screen of touch sensitive devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Furthermore, a mobile ecommerce shopping website can combine B2C and B2B functionalities, adding additional features like requests for quotes, order requisitions, order forms and more.

Shop anywhere feature is made possible as Magento Commerce runs on Amazon Web Service, allowing deployment of websites anywhere except in China and GovCloud. In addition, other B2B ecommerce functionalities include data driven business intelligence, shipping services, inventory management, order management and customer service.

Now more than ever, startup and existing businesses have come to fully grasp the importance of having an Internet presence by way of a website. Running the business on a tight budget is no longer a detriment, since there are web hosting sites that rent out their platform and furnish related services, free of charge. Free services though include only standard features, such as web hosting and development, server maintenance, Internet connectivity, backup, disaster recoveries and some extra elements.

Nonetheless, building a website via free web hosting is a good enough start, since customers can expect to receive reliable hosting services that keep the website up and running. Not all hosting sites though, offer the same range of free services or have the capability to keep a website up and running nearly all the time.

Still, there are certain drawbacks to using a free web hosting platform because the arrangement is not covered by a contract. Certain restrictions or limitations may be imposed, or a number of ads may appear without giving free customers the right to select or to limit displays. At worst, the hosting provider may decide to close shop at short notice, leaving an inexperienced free customer frantic, whilst searching for ways to keep his or her website running without interruption.

Choosing the hosting platform with the likeliest potential to outlast competition may prove important as a criterion. Checking out reviews and recognitions received, is an additional approach to selecting the most reliable free hosting website. In using those criteria, an assessment of available choices will likely point to Wix.

A Cursory Look at Wix as a Viable Web Builder and Host

Wix has gained favorable attention as a compleat website builder and host from both free and subscribing customers. This is attested to by “Finances Online,” a popular business review and directory platform for Business to Business (B2B) SaaS. The review platform conferred the 2018 Q1 “Best Website Builder Software” and the “Best Shopping Cart Software” awards, as well as the final 2018 “Expert’s Choice” and “Great User Experience” awards to Wix.

A website builder that comes with a web-hosting feature, Wix offers a FREE package of basic services and use of its software. The free Wix package includes secure hosting services with up to 500 MB storage and bandwidth, and unlimited web pages that can be accessed by viewers using desktop and/or mobile applications.

Use of Wix’s free web-building tools and web-hosting services is without time limit, with option to upgrade to any of Wix’s premium bundles. The lowest priced bundle is an advertisement-free plan with a Custom Domain Name feature, costing $11 per month.

Wix’s web building software enables users to create a professional-looking website, supported by a Code module for database collection, AI for design customization, and by an open API structure for adding functions deemed necessary by the business. A Wix feature that provides great user experience on the part of the website owner is the SEO optimization facet that helps in improving quality of web page contents. User experience, as far as website viewers are concerned, can be optimized with the use of free-to-download Wiz mobile app.

When looking to enhance a website with third party business solutions, including but not limited to Customer Relationships Management (CRM) apps, the Wiz platform is capable of connecting and integrating seamlessly. Moreover, this award-winning web building and hosting site takes pride in maintaining a team of experienced and responsive professional support providers, whom Wiz platform users can communicate with by phone or email.

Software development has advanced in ways that made it possible for entrepreneurs and work-at-home disciples to grow their business with minimal external professional assistance. Certain software applications like desktop publishing and computer-aided design (CAD), enabled businesses to create materials in-house, which eliminated the need to spend additionally for designer expertise and cost of printing services.

Desktop Publishing Software is in wider use since most businesses start out by creating basic communication and marketing materials like business cards and stationery, brochures, posters and web-based press releases. In fact, even professional designers benefited from this tool as it allowed them to expand and venture into providing online publishing services.

Desktop Publishing Software Made Printing and Publishing Affordable to All

In the mid-80s, printed business materials became less costly with the advent of Aldus Pagemaker and the Mac computer. Still, spending on marketing and advertising materials were limited, as startup businesses had very little resources to use in acquiring and installing such software.

Nonetheless, opportunities started getting better with the introduction of desktop publishing software that required only design and publishing skills upon installation.

Moreover, the availability of online tutorials on how to use and manage a readily usable page layout made desktop publishing a less daunting task.

Online educational courses on the basics of graphic design combined with publishing techniques made desktop publishing software a worthy business investment. Professional graphic designers either gained employment, or ventured into offering printing and publishing services.

Cloud Desktop Publishing

A few years later, the introduction of cloud-based desktop publishing altogether made the application accessible and truly affordable. Simply downloading a desktop publishing software in one’s PC, will give users great opportunity for improving, if not acquiring knowledge on how to arrange and rearrange texts and graphics on readily available page layouts.

Even ordinary households benefited from downloadable software as they can now access tools for creating greeting cards, invitations, resumes, academic work, and personalized stationery. Even if hardly equipped with designing skills, they develop printed outputs at par with professionally-crafted materials.

To date, leading the host of software providers that offer downloadable publishing and typesetting applications as desktop tools are Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, and Microsoft Publisher.

Free to Download Desktop Publishing Software

The next best alternative to the software provided by those industry giants are the free downloadable desktop publishing programs developed by lesser known independent providers. Making bad designs is no longer a problem, since a user can always make modifications at no extra costs.