Paul Romer, a 62-year-old economist, won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics with William Dawbney Nordhaus. However, in addition to his identity as an expert in the field of economics, perhaps most notably, he is also a user of the Python programming language.
Economics involves a lot of mathematics and statistics. The most commonly used digital tools are the spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel and the programming languages Stata and Mathematica. They are common tools in economics classrooms around the world, but all three are proprietary and proprietary.
Romer believes that scientific research should be transparent. He believes that the openness and clarity of research methods are very important for scientific research to gain trust. As he explained in a blog post in April 2018, in order to make his work transparent, he tried to share his research with Mathematica, and anyone can explore each of his data and methods. A detail, but Mathematica can’t do it. He said that Wolfram Research, the developer of Mathematica, made it too difficult for them to share his work in a way that would not require others to use proprietary software. The reader does not see all the code he uses for the equation.
After Romer found it difficult to share his research with Mathematica, he found that Jupyter notebooks could do the job, so he switched to using the Jupyter notebooks app. Jupyter notebooks is a web application that supports dozens of languages, allowing programmers and researchers to share documents containing code, charts, equations, and data. Romer uses the Python language, which is the most popular language in data science and statistics.
More importantly, unlike Mathematica, Jupyter notebooks are open source, meaning that anyone can view and get the source code for it, giving birth to truly transparent research. Jupyter notebooks also are considered likely to replace the traditional PDF documents.
Romer said that Jupyter notebooks are significant for sharing his research, they support the integrity and transparency of information, while proprietary software encourages confidentiality. Romer wrote: “The more I learn about proprietary software, the more I worry that objective truth might perish from the earth.”