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Math software - any recommendation?

  1. Feb 21, 2009 #1
    Hello folks,

    I was shopping for some mathematics software like Mathematica and Mathlab, etc..? However, they are too expnesive for me (hobbyist use). However, they only offer Mathematica 7 Home Edition for affordable price. I was looking for some open-source software and found a few software like Octave, Scilab, etc. I now have some questions about OSS and commerical softwares for you.

    Are OSS software like Scilab and Octave fully compatible with Mathlad/Simulink/Mathematica for Linux/Windows/Mac platforms? I have some astrodynamic/aerodynamic books provides some programs for Mathlab, etc and will they work on one of Octave/Scilab software?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2009 #2


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    Matlab programs sorta work in Octave, but many troubles can occur. You may need to tweek them.
  4. Feb 21, 2009 #3


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    I have not seen any good Maple/Mathematica/Matlab/etc. FOSS replacements. Octave, Maxima, and Scilab are 'somewhat' compatible; most complicated programs will need to be tweaked or rewritten. They're certainly less polished than their expensive cousins.

    Depending on what you're doing, you may be able to use other programs. GAP (group theory) and Pari/GP (number theory) are at least as good, if not better, than the expensive programs within their respective fields.
  5. Feb 22, 2009 #4
    With a little bit of extra work, you can just use straight C, C++, Fortran, etc. And that's free, and you can probably find code (or make it yourself) to do whatever you want.
  6. Feb 22, 2009 #5


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    That would be ridiculously inefficient. At best one would be spending one hundred times as long, and that assumes one already has knowlege of programming and computer methods needed for the task. That is like telling someone who wants to buy a car that it would be better to build one with the spare parts in their garage. :>
  7. Feb 22, 2009 #6
    You don't want to do this. :yuck:
  8. Feb 22, 2009 #7
    I wasn't suggesting he write it from scratch, I was suggesting he find open-source code that has already been written and tweak it to suit his needs.

    I don't know... perhaps there aren't any good open source mathematics package projects. But it's something to look into. That's all I was suggesting.
  9. Feb 22, 2009 #8
    You said Mathematica 7 home is affordable, so I highly recommend that.

    Note that the home version is technically equivalent to the pro version, the only difference being the licensing (the home version must be used for non-commercial purposes).
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