Every now and then a scientist or engineer complains about how the Mac is lousy for scientific and engineering applications. That certainly was more true a few years back, before the Mac II and large color monitors, but we hope that the gap is narrowing. A recently formed group, MacSciTech (the Macintosh Scientific and Technical Users Association), will try to aid this trend, planning to "enhance the effective utilization of the Macintosh within the scientific and engineering communities." Nothing like a little engineering-speak to round out a meal of business-speak.
Apple and the Consortium for Laboratory and Industrial Applications of the Macintosh, Inc. announced MacSciTech's formation at the recent AppleTech '91 show. MacSciTech will try to merge the realms of the user group and the professional association. In its user group hat, MacSciTech will open up channels of communication on various electronic services, administrate public domain software archives on the Internet, and publish a quarterly newsletter. The professional association hat will focus more on official communications with Apple and will host an annual technical conference. Sounds like fun all around.
I'm neither an engineer nor a scientist, but I think that this group will do a great deal of good for the Mac in the scientific and engineering fields. My impression is that the Mac fares poorly in such fields in comparison to machines like Sun's workstations. Since people do a great deal of interesting work solely on high end computers, it's in the interests of all Macintosh users to cultivate high-end research as well as the low-end marketing that Apple has concentrated on recently. MacSciTech's Board of Directors sounds like a group that can help the Mac out, including people from academia, business, and government, including Cliff Stoll, who probably wants to return to being an astronomer already.
On to the details. For the rest of 1991, charter member dues will be $25 per year with the starving student rate being $15 per year. Hmm, that wasn't much in the way of details. If you want more of them, you can contact Shari Worthington at the addresses below.
MacSciTech -- 508/755-5242
cons.lab.mfg on AppleLink
SciTechMac on America Online
MacSciTech propaganda (complete with organizational chart)