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Best Mathematics / Physics software

  1. Mar 15, 2017 #1
    Hello.

    I have noticed that a fair amount of stuff on this forum uses various softwares, for which I am unacquainted with. Figured I might as well dabble, see of I can learn to use them.

    All on Google basically say 'I'm the best!' and I trust this forums judgement more than that of others on Google.

    What is the best software to get, in your opinion?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2017 #2

    Dr Transport

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    Context?
     
  4. Mar 15, 2017 #3

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Well the best software is usually free software until you decide the paid one works better.

    There are several varieties of matlab clones as matlab is used a lot by engineers and scientists doing a lot of computational work. Matlab costs a lot though and so alternatives have popped up like Octave and Scilab and are sumarized here:

    http://dspguru.com/dsp/links/matlab-clones/

    However, I'd try things like Freemat.org, a simple matlab clone that covers the core matlab language and not the various extensions.

    www.freemat.sourceforge.net

    The anaconda distro of Julia and Python. You get to choose your language here. Julia is also a lot like Matlab and can interface well with other numerical computing languages like C/C++, Fortran and R. I think it will replace Matlab as it matures though that may take a long time.

    Anaconda incorporates many of the numerical python packages like sympy and numpy and a lot of folks use these to some pretty cool modeling.

    Here's a link to setting up Julia via Anaconda and it comes with python too:

    https://lectures.quantecon.org/jl/getting_started.html

    Then there's libigl for 3D model viewing where you can zoom in and rotate your image around.

    http://libigl.github.io/libigl/tutorial/tutorial.html
     
  5. Mar 15, 2017 #4
    Anything, It's just something to do. Any use that come out of it will be a bonus.

    Something for my utility belt.
     
  6. Mar 15, 2017 #5

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    There are also some apps for your phone that can do some computational work like PocketCAS for iphone/ipad. You can then hang your phone on your belt.
     
  7. Mar 15, 2017 #6
    Thank you.
     
  8. Mar 15, 2017 #7

    Dr Transport

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    I downloaded a MATLAB clone GNU OCTAVE to my tablet. Works reasonably well. I have a MATLAB student license I pay yearly to get updates on which I use on my PC and my phone. I find programming on a phone to be difficult, my iPhone6 isn't all that big and the keyboard takes up most of the screen.
     
  9. Mar 15, 2017 #8

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    The student licenses are cheap and are designed to get you to get your company to buy MATLAB when you get out of school and then the bucks start flowing.
     
  10. Mar 15, 2017 #8

    Dr Transport

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    That is why I use it at home, I still have a valid student ID.
     
  11. Mar 15, 2017 #9
    Can't tell if your serious . Either way, thanks.
     
  12. Mar 15, 2017 #10

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Its a kind of historical joke. When I went to college you could tell the difference between engineers and scientists. The engineers would carry their slide rule by attaching it to their belt. It hung there like a sword. The scientists would be half sized slide rules that could be carried in their pocket protector.


    twinholsters.jpg

    photo.jpg
     
  13. Mar 15, 2017 #11

    Dr Transport

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    I'm too young for slide rules (I have three which were passed down to me by various others and don't use them very efficiently). When I was in high school, we had the HP (model I do not remember) but we had the carrying case which either we hung from our finger while we carried our books to class or put it on our belt like a slide rule....

    s-l500.jpg
     
  14. Mar 15, 2017 #12
    I have a pencil case for my bag and a star wars biscuit tin for my desk. What does that make me, do you think? Might provide insight to my future...
     
  15. Mar 15, 2017 #13

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Definitely a future on the Pawnstars TV show.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawn_Stars
     
  16. Mar 15, 2017 #14
  17. Mar 27, 2017 #15
    Between Octave and Freemat for free MATLAB alternatives, I prefer Octave. With that being said, what might interest you most is the program "SageMath." It is effectively a compilation of all the best open-source math software available. For example, it has a built in Octave environment which is reportedly faster than standalone Octave and I've found to be more user-friendly with aspects such as graphing functions.
     
  18. Mar 27, 2017 #16
    Thank you.
     
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