Before this thread gets locked, I would like to make a (long) point.
In a modern context, I agree that it is wholly inappopriate to label yourself as something you are not. There are formalities and technicalities when it comes to such things. One of the purposes to attending accredited institutions is to establish some common ground.
It's not as if I can wave a wand and make Leigh a neurobiologist. It doesn't work that way. I'm not qualified to bring her up to the standards in that area. That's why these institutions exist; not just to bust balls for a span of years, but to set a bar and provide some level of cross-institutional uniformity.
These credentials allow me to differentiate an enthusiast from a true professional. This is to weed out the unqualified quacks.
Having said that, although I believe that this "piece of paper" should
decide whether or not you can carry that PhD title, I also believe that self-education is a very powerful thing.
IMO, I feel as if it is entirely possible to be as qualified as a PhD without ever having gone through the formalities of it all. I do. It requires an insane level of self-discipline, but it's possible.
Just because these institutions exist doesn't mean that they're the one and only fountain of knowledge. Most of history's greatest minds learned stuff that wasn't on any
syllabus. Knowledge and learning predate schools. Just because you leave school doesn't mean that the process has to end. You can keep learning and even innovating on your own time.
I'm not going to mock Mr. Charbonneau. It's not my place. I don't think that he should be calling himself a doctor, as I am unable to verify whether or not he meets the required criteria. However, I'm not going to mock him.
On a personal level, I consider myself a science enthusiast with intense passions for theoretical physics & electrical/mechanical engineering. I had once considered majoring in physics and was even accepted to MIT back in the day, though I could not attend due to financial reasons.
I simply LOVE phsyics and have a knack for it. I'm the type of guy who keeps personal journals & digital white boards. My idea of relaxing consists of so-called "thought experiments" and doing the math for this independent research. I've been hardore into physics for 26 years, since I was 13yo. I even taught myself Calculus to such a level that I had already qualified for 3rd year college credit by the time I was 18. Like I said, I have a passion for these all things revolving around science.
NB: As a 7yo, I'd routinely disassemble the household electronics and rewire them into new devices. It really
frustrated my parent to no end when I was a child. They eventually had to break down and get me my own electronics supplies and tools.
I "get" how somebody could
be qualified without a degree. It's entirely possible. Knowledge isn't something you can confine to buildings. HOWEVER, because I don't have the credentials, I would NEVER
call myself a doctor of such & such. I am a "man of science", not
a PhD. To suggest otherwise would be unethical and likely illegal. People trust these titles and degrees. They believe what the people with them say, often to a fault.
Respectfully, Mr. Charbonneau, you may be a man of science, but you are no doctor. It is a blatant act of misrepresentation. Don't allow yourself to get recognized and singled out for the wrong reasons.
TO THE ORIGINAL TOPIC....
As friendly as scripting is, you're always better off with a lower level language for something like this. Whenever you've got math intensive operations, you want to avoid the middle man wherever possible. Every ounce of performance counts. I'm much more fond of C/C++ and ASM. The performance benefits are that much greater, especially as the amount of manipulated data increases. You'll hit your bottleneck much quicker with Python.
A few of the things I'd like to see:
- Metrics that matter beyond the labels
- Greater floating point precision.
- Surfaces based on user defined formulae.
- A white board type note taking system.
- Project organization.
- A high level math interpreter/calculator
- Decent support for 3D printers & other rapid prototypers
- Support for at least the most common import/export formats.
- Auto save
- Crash reporting & recovery
For a CAD/CAM/CAE, the laundry list is practically endless here. I'd love the simplicity of something like AutoCAD or Cinema4D, but the higher focus on math and customization of something like Maple.