Nature article offers views on better understanding software - The University of Tulsa
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Nature article offers views on better understanding software

Hazel Rogers Endowed Chair in Media Studies and Associate Professor of Cyber Studies Benjamin Peters has co-authored a thoughtful article published in Nature Computational Science on Monday titled “Software is Ubiquitous Yet Overlooked.”

In their article, Peters and his co-authors address a message that may seem deceptively simplistic: Software is everywhere in science and yet overlooked everywhere. While the entire scientific world is talking about code and algorithms, Peters and his colleagues assert that many facets of software are not found in “code” or “algorithms.” The question of user licenses, that of file formats, that of compilation, the dependence on libraries, the infrastructure, that of the different categories of users are all problems related to software and all become invisible when limited to talking about code. They conclude that utilizing an interdisciplinary approach is key to understanding any aspect of software facets, and that by collecting perspectives from academics of all disciplinaries the tensions between different meanings of software can be better revealed.

“Without support from The University of Tulsa and the Media Studies Department, I would not have been able to live abroad in Germany last year where I contributed to this ‘Software is ubiquitous yet overlooked’ article,” Peters said. “I am grateful for how UTulsa models its integrated strengths in technology and liberal arts by encouraging all to think big and write even more boldly. The point in Nature? Software is everywhere and everywhere misunderstood. There is much more collaborative interdisciplinary research to be done in this vein.”